[Aptitude-devel] Bug#707324: aptitude: hint users about [added] alternative dependencies on upgrade/install

Christoph Anton Mitterer calestyo at scientia.net
Thu May 9 03:01:43 UTC 2013

Package: aptitude
Severity: wishlist
Tags: upstream


This idea has in kinda the same motivation as what I've suggested in bug #707322.

AFAIU there are alternative dependencies like (sorry the example isn't perfect,
but I was too lazy in searching for a better on):
--\ Recommends (5)                                                                                                                                                                          
    --- unhide.rb | unhide

which is (as the name says) an alternative, so both packages should provide
roughly the same functionallity.

In reallity though,  this is not really true, like on of the two alternatives
might provide much more functionallity (e.g. unhide provides more differen check
algos over unhide.rb).

Or similarly, taking ffmpeg's:
  --\ Depends (9)
    --- libavcodec53 (>= 6:0.8.3-1~) | libavcodec-extra-53 (>= 6:0.8.6)

libavcodec-extra-53 provides much mode codes.

Given that either of the following might easily occur
- a new package is installed, in which such an alternative is already fulfilled
  by some other (unrelated) earlier installations
- a package that is going to be upgraded got alternatives added to an already
  existing (and fulfilled) Depends/Suggests/Recommends/etc.
it may easilly happen, that the admin never really notices, the now he could
also choose another package, that perhaps suits his needs better.

E.g. in the ffmpeg case, if my old ffmpeg version had only
  --\ Depends (9)
    --- libavcodec53 (>= 6:0.8.3-1~)
which was already fulfilled and I upgrade and now they've added
    --- libavcodec53 (>= 6:0.8.3-1~) | libavcodec-extra-53 (>= 6:0.8.6)

I typically wouldn't notice this, even though libavcodec-extra-53 would likely
be much better for me.

So analogous to the afforementioned bug, 2 things could be done
1) In the package detail view... perhaps colourise and newly added alternatives
   (for that package only), so that one easily identifies them
2) In the Preview window,.. give anoter list, which contails all the packages
   where such changes took place, so that one can go through them (as in (1))
   and take a look.


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