[Aptitude-devel] Bug#815690: aptitude: regression in version 0.7.6 wrt. cli search display through pipes

Manuel A. Fernandez Montecelo manuel.montezelo at gmail.com
Thu Feb 25 13:07:12 GMT 2016

Control: tags -1 - moreinfo unreproducible + pending


2016-02-24 02:34 Norbert Kiesel:
>Hi Manuel,
>my goal was pretty simply: I wanted the output be nicely aligned even when
>it's piped.  When I tried that using -F I thought that -F is just ignored.
>However, as you have shown that is not the case.
>Nevertheless, it seems that setting the width of columns does not work as I

That's because it acts as --disable-columns, so widths are ignored in
that case.

>Perhaps I'm still not understanding how to correctly use this?  Is there a
>way to have `aptitude search '~N' | head -3` produce aligned output?
>Right now the only solution I see is something ugly like the following
># aptitude -F '%p %d' search '~N' | perl -ne 'printf("%-30s - %s\n", /(\S+)
>(.+)/)' | head -3
>icingacli                      - simple CLI tool for Icingaweb2 and its
>icingaweb2-common              - simple and responsive web interface for
>Icinga - common files
>libp8-platform-dev             - Pulse-Eight's platform support library --
>development files


So if you want to parse the different fields, the "machine-parsable"
that you mentioned, I think that it's better to use "-F '%p ¶ %d'", with
some strange separator character that does not appear in the
descriptions (although I wonder if there's a way to really guarantee
that... perhaps control characters).

For getting aligned output when piping/redirecting and you want to set a
width anyway, I made it to "columnize" and using -w/::Width when set
explicitly instead of "--disabling-columns".

It still acts as "--disabling-columns" if width not set explicitly
(because it cannot be guessed correctly in that case).

So "`aptitude search -w $COLUMNS > t; less t` worked in 0.7.4", should
work again in > 0.7.6.

Marking as +pending.

2016-02-24 02:53 Norbert Kiesel:
>Actually I started to like the perl post-processing, so I will simply close
>my bug report although I'm still not understanding why the width in the
>format does not work in piped context.

It's probably more useful for a range of use-cases, yes.

Anyway, changed now in the case that you or anybody else still want to
use the functionality.

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

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