OneConf and Software Center

Matthew Paul Thomas mpt at
Thu Jun 10 10:12:05 BST 2010

Hash: SHA1

Hi Didier

Didier Roche wrote on 22/04/10 09:33:
> Le mercredi 21 avril 2010 à 21:23 -0400, Jason J. Herne a écrit :
>> Thanks for working with me to develop a good overview for OneConf
>> ( and for considering my design ideas.
>> I've been thinking about your suggested method of using Software
>> Center to obtain a list of user installed packages (minus dependencies
>> & Ubuntu base packages).  I have taken a look at the list of installed
>> applications as reported by S-C and I do not believe it works. I'm not
>> sure how software center decides which packages go into this list, but
>> it seems to contain both base packages as well as dependencies of
>> installed packages.
>> See
>> This shows some base packages listed in Software Center, like Archive
>> manager and Calculator.
> This one is not important to me and seems even logical, as there are
> still "applications", you maybe want to remove the Calculator from an
> installed desktop (no offense robert_ancell ;)). So, keeping the
> default list somewhere is something not directly related.
>> See
>> This was taken right after command 'sudo apt-get install dia'.
>> Software Center is showing the library files and common files for Dia.
> hum, this one is more annoying. Thanks for looking at that.

This is a combination of three bugs in Ubuntu Software Center.

First, the "Installed Software" section is supposed to be a categorized
list of all packages installed on the system. Currently, though, it is
an uncategorized list of only the applications installed on the system.

Second, a package (e.g. dia-gnome) that provides an application (e.g.
Dia diagram editor) should not show up separately from that application.
This works in most listings, but it fails in "Installed Software" search
results. <>

And third, in any listing that includes packages that do not provide an
application (e.g. dia-libs, dia-common), those packages are supposed to
be hidden by default inside a "NN other technical items" disclosure
panel. Currently they're just shown by default.

If anyone would like to fix any of these things, I'd greatly appreciate
it. :-)

>> Do you know how Software Center decides which packages go into this
>> list? I've looked at the source code (briefly) but I did not find
>> much.  I'm sure a more thorough investigation would turn up more
>> information but I'm not sure if it is worth the time since the list
>> does not seem to be filtered how we want it to be.

Why would you ask USC for this list? Why not ask apt or aptdaemon
directly, something like "Give me a list of all installed packages that
aren't dependencies of ubuntu-desktop".

As for the interface for OneConf in general, this seems like it should
be part of a standalone Migration Assistant for transferring your stuff
to/from other computers (programs and files to/from Ubuntu, and files
only to/from other OSes). The migration step in the Ubuntu installer
would be an embedded subset of this overall feature.

It might also make sense for recording/syncing the set of installed
packages to be accessible from Ubuntu Software Center, but *maybe* only
as a menu item that launches the Migration Assistant. What do you think?
Is there any other reason you'd want to record that kind of list?

- -- 
Matthew Paul Thomas
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