[Aptitude-devel] Bug#269101: aptitude.8.gz: detail "treat"

Manuel A. Fernandez Montecelo manuel.montezelo at gmail.com
Fri Aug 28 14:46:27 UTC 2015

Control: tags -1 + moreinfo

Hi Dan,

2004-08-30 19:34 Dan Jacobson:
>Package: aptitude
>Severity: minor
>File: /usr/share/man/man8/aptitude.8.gz
>4 lines matching "treat" in buffer *Man aptitude*.
>character  (``~''),  it  will be treated as a search pattern and
>character  (``~''),  it  will be treated as a search pattern and
>Do not treat recommendations as dependencies when installing new
>Treat  recommendations as dependencies when installing new pack-
>Within the latter two, or somewhere on the page, you should mention
>what this "treatment" is, i.e., just displaying, or all-out
>installing, etc.

The full text in the man page at this time is:

-R, --without-recommends

  Do not treat recommendations as dependencies when installing new
  packages (this overrides settings in /etc/apt/apt.conf and
  ~/.aptitude/config). Packages previously installed due to
  recommendations will not be removed.

  This corresponds to the pair of configuration options
  Apt::Install-Recommends and Apt::AutoRemove::RecommendsImportant.

-r, --with-recommends

  Treat recommendations as dependencies when installing new packages
  (this overrides settings in /etc/apt/apt.conf and ~/.aptitude/config).

  This corresponds to the configuration option Apt::Install-Recommends

To me, this read quite clearly whether to "consider Recommends as [hard]
Dependencies" or not (akin to Suggests, for example).

What the concrete treatment is, displaying or installing as you say,
depends on many factors (simulate actions or not, verbosity
levels... possibly as extra menus "Are you sure that you don't want to
install the recommended packages...?").

But in principle, to me the important bit is whether to treat the
packages in Recommends exactly as hard/required dependencies (=~
Depends) will be treated or not required (=~ Suggests), and I think that
it is sufficiently clear in the text above ("Treat recommendations as
dependencies") and do not see how to improve it.

>Furthermore, you don't say which is the default,
>-R, --without-recommends
>-r, --with-recommends
>or neither.

As the above texts indicate, the default is whatever
Apt::Install-Recommends is in the given system/environtment, and can be
gathered through:

  $ apt-config dump | grep Install-Recommends
  APT::Install-Recommends "1";

I think that by now this is well stablished and by default
Install-Recommends is enabled in Debian, but there are people who always
disable it and everything is fine for them, and it is not out of
question that the default is reverted in Debian or some derivative, or
in systems where several people co-administer.

So in my opinion saying which of those options is the default at that
point in the documentation is misleading, and to know for sure one
should go to the Apt config option to see what's the default in one's
system/environment; and it is indicated quite clearly which Apt options
are related to the above aptitude command options.

So, in summary, I don't think that there is anything to change from this
bug report, unless you (or some other reader) are more precise about
what is confusing and what you would like to see changed.

Manuel A. Fernandez Montecelo <manuel.montezelo at gmail.com>

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