Misplaced packages?

Christian Ehrhardt christian.ehrhardt at canonical.com
Wed Sep 1 06:47:11 UTC 2021

On Tue, Aug 31, 2021 at 11:49 PM Gunnar Hjalmarsson <gunnarhj at ubuntu.com> wrote:
> On 2021-08-27 16:19, Robert Spanjaard wrote:
> > Greetings Ubuntu Developers!
> >
> > I was just browsing some sections in Synaptic, looking for lightweight
> > webbrowsers and image gallery creation. During my browse I found some
> > strange package placements:
> >
> > w3m, a text based webbrowser, is placed in the section Word Processing
> > bluefish, a text editor, is placed in World Wide Web (multiverse)
> > florence, a virtual keyboard for X, is placed in World Wide Web
> > (multiverse)
> >
> > All on Ubuntu 20.04(.3).
> Weird. I installed w3m (on 21.04) to take a look.
> $ cat /var/lib/dpkg/status | grep 'Package: w3m' -A 3
> Package: w3m
> Status: install ok installed
> Priority: optional
> Section: web
> $ apt-cache show w3m | grep Section
> Section: text
> It looks some kind of 'disagreement' between dpkg and apt while Synaptic
> is an interface to browse apt info.

Maybe because it had changed in the past?
One can understand why one could mark it "text" in the first place as
it is a text based browser not realizing that text is "for text
But in 0.5.2-3 it had the change of "Set Section to web."
That version is old (pre-precise), so it has been that way (web) for
quite some time.

Therefore when you check the sources "web" is what you get just as
with the /var/lib/dpkg/status check mentioned above.
$ apt source w3m
$ grep Section w3m-0.5.3/debian/control
Section: web

Also it is Section web on lauchpad for example at

But OTOH the cache data is on "text" - and that is what apt/synaptic will use:
$ apt-cache show w3m | grep Section
Section: text

It seems some data holds to the old "text" entry ever since.

web: /var/lib/dpkg/status, launchpad, source
text: apt-cache, synaptic

Is there a step needed/missed to make the apt/repository data refresh
the section?

> --
> Gunnar Hjalmarsson
> https://launchpad.net/~gunnarhj
> --
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Christian Ehrhardt
Staff Engineer, Ubuntu Server
Canonical Ltd

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