JanC janc13 at gmail.com
Sat Nov 26 09:57:25 CST 2005

On 11/26/05, Matt Zimmerman <mdz at ubuntu.com> wrote:
> On Sun, Nov 20, 2005 at 08:03:24PM -0200, Carlos Ribeiro wrote:

> > For the lack of better name, I am calling it the "Application Specific
> > Package Management" problem.
> This isn't really an underlying problem in package management.  It's the same
> package categorization problem that various people have struggled with over
> the years, and it can be solved with extensions to the package management
> system which don't involve any infrastructure changes.  Indeed, this is
> purely an issue for package management frontends, such as Synaptic.
> The most promising approach I've seen is debtags, which allows packages to
> be categorized in meaningful ways by attaching an arbitrary number of tags
> to them.  There was a debtags-enabled Synaptic at some point in the past,
> but I'm not sure where it stands today.  Michael Vogt would presumably know.
> This solves the problem in a general way, whereas your approach requires a
> significant amount of work for each new category.

I think that what Carlos wanted to point out is that certain
categories of packages need extra, domain-specific work that's not
easily included in the general package management tools.

His example with MIDI instruments means that there are (in theory) an
unlimited number of instrument packages, but there are only a limited
number of instruments that can be installed/configured at the same
time.  This requires extra constraints & configuration that's not
possible with general purpose apt frontends.

In the case of TrueType fonts, you don't always want all fonts to be
installed at the same time (cluttering the font list in *all*
applications), but you want to have them around in case you need them.

So the problem is not entirely solvable by adding debtags to the
package management.

A solution might be a SoundFonts configuration tool that includes
support for apt (maybe using debtags to filter the list) so that you
don't need 2 (or more) applications to configure this aspect of the
system (python-apt might be useful to create such configuration
(It would be even better if such tools would be able to do both
user-local & system-wide installation & configuration, but I'm not
sure how that fits with apt.)

BTW: similar functionality could be build into the Theme config etc.


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