Recommended and Suggested packages

Phillip Susi psusi at cfl.rr.com
Tue Nov 7 15:55:50 GMT 2006


It seems to me that the various package management utilities all pay no 
mind to the Recommended: and Suggested: control fields.  This seems sad 
to me that we have these useful fields but they go unused.

This impacted me recently when I was looking for something to rip some 
cds with, and found grip in the add programs applet and installed it. 
The package fails to work correctly out of the box because it needed 
vorbis-tools for encoding.  The vorbis-tools package was listed as a 
Recommended package, but unless you specifically looked for that, you 
would never know.

I am sure there are a number of examples of packages that Recommend 
other packages that they work tightly with to provide users with 
expected functionality.  It seems to me that at least the gui apt tools 
should be enhanced to pay attention to the Recommended: and Suggested: 
fields and prompt the user to install the listed packages.  I think they 
should show a simple dialog box stating that this package strongly 
recommends that you also install the following packages, ok to proceed? 
  And list the packages and have them auto selected.  At that point the 
user can deselect them, or click on them for more information, or hit ok 
to install.  The same would be done for Suggested, only instead default 
with them deselected and inform the user that the following packages 
might be useful in conjunction with this one.

Thoughts?



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