[Soc-coordination] Aptitude search ranking and other improvement

Federico undicizeri at gmail.com
Sun Mar 22 11:52:20 UTC 2009

Hi all,
I'm a 2nd year undergraduate student of computer science and I'm
interested in Aptitude search ranking and presentation (
I'm looking at Xapian web page and I noticed that Xapian doesn't offer
C++ bindings, so in what language the search algorithm will be
implemented in aptitude?
I have also a couple of proposals for a better (in my opinion) aptitude:

1. I don't understand the aptitude Score system, I can imagine that a
negative score is bad and a positive one is good but it a mess... For
example -44 is so bad? And what about -1200? +10 is good? And what
happen if I proceed the remove even if I've a score of -1000?
I think the score system is very confusing for a first time user and
not very helpful. Maybe we can improve it with a more consistent
documentation and at least a scale for the Score system, in this
manner I know a solution with a score of 99/100 is far better than a
50/100 one.

2. I think is very useful to revert to a pure debian system automatically.
For example if someone is using an unofficial repository with newer
package it will be very useful to have aptitude automatically remove
these third party packages and reinstall official debian version if
the unofficial repo is removed from source.list. Maybe this won't be
the default behaviour of aptitude but an user can force this by
setting a variable in a config file or using a special keyword like
aptitude revert.

I'll be very glad to work on this project and I hope my proposals are
in some way useful :)

Federico Foschini

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