[Aptitude-devel] Bug#837971: Bug#837971: aptitude: [PATCH] Distinguish Debian-specific and upstream upgrades

Manuel A. Fernandez Montecelo manuel.montezelo at gmail.com
Sat Sep 17 14:53:01 UTC 2016


2016-09-16 13:47 Axel Beckert:
>Hi Keshav,
>Keshav Kini wrote:
>> When upgrading packages, aptitude users might like to know whether each
>> upgrade represents a newer upstream version of the package, or is merely
>> a Debian-specific change.  This can be determined by comparing the
>> current and candidate versions in the rightmost two columns of the
>> package listing, but I thought it might be easier to see at a glance if
>> these two kinds of upgrades were colored differently in the UI.
>> The attached patch (directly importable into git) makes upgrades that
>> represent a newer upstream version appear in bold, while upgrades that
>> represent a Debian revision bump appear as before.
>Interesting ideas (both, separating upstream from packaging changes as
>well as using the bold attribute for highlighting).
>Will probably have to try it so see how it feels, but in general I
>like the idea. So thanks for having already included a patch!

Thanks for the suggestion and the patch.

My view on this request is not so positive, though.

Currently, the whole line is bold or normal depending if the package is
installed or not.  Given the coarse granularity allowed in terminals
with a limited number of colours or attributes, I am not sure that this
distinction is worthy enough to be warranted the "boldness" attribute
(rather than e.g. a different shade of "green" in a GUI application).

More in general, I don't think that the distinction between upstream
upgrades and non-upstream upgrades is very interesting, and it can be
misleading in some cases:

- Upgrading to libssl_1.0.0-2 from -1 might be much more urgent /
  recommendable / whatever than upgrading fonts-liberation_2.0-1 from
  -1.0-1; even if one is a whole new upstream release and the other just
  a debian revision.

- Sometimes upstream changes can also be embedded in patches of debian
  revisions (e.g. supporting a new device), and debian revisions
  sometimes contain very relevant/important changes (e.g. enabling by
  default a new media backend for a player), while there are upstream
  releases that only contain changes for other OSs or use cases that
  don't affect Debian or the user at all.

So in summary, it can be useful for some cases (e.g. some specific
packages), but I don't think that the distinction between upsteam
versions and debian versions is very useful in a general case (for most
people and for most packages), so I'm not very keen on changing things
(specially if they imply visual changes) to the defaults that then are
problematic to reverse unless there are very clear advantages, which I
do not see in this case.

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

More information about the Aptitude-devel mailing list