[arch-general] Uninstallable Packages

Jeremiah Dodds jeremiah.dodds at gmail.com
Sat Jul 28 12:24:10 EDT 2012

Leonid Isaev <lisaev at umail.iu.edu> writes:

> On Sat, 28 Jul 2012 07:04:37 -0400
> Jeremiah Dodds <jeremiah.dodds at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Sorry if this is dragging up an old topic, but I've been poking around
>> AIF as I'm interested in possibly (hopefully) bringing it up to speed
>> and/or improving it, and I noticed that it's still in the repos, but
>> isn't installable by anyone who doesn't happen to have grub legacy still
>> installed on their system, unless I'm missing something.
> This looks like a packaging bug which is rather general: a package in [extra]
> depends on a package from [community] or [aur]. AIF is one example, ruby is
> another...

Right, it's definitely a general issue.

> Regarding AIF/grub, you could file a bug to either (a) move AIF to AUR, or (b)
> make grub-bios provide grub.

In this particular case, AIF *really* does depend on grub. I'm working
on that though. I just noticed that it was available for install from
extra still, and that got me thinking about repository consistency.

>> It seems like we'd want to avoid having to manually remove packages
>> every time it becomes impossible to install a set of them. This might be
>> my unfamiliarity with libalpm or pacman or any other myriad part of the
>> stack, but it seems like the type of thing that could be handled by a
>> utlity and a cron job fairly easily.
>> It also seems like the type of thing that wouldn't be too annoying to
>> deal with manually at the moment, but that could get frustrating for
>> both users and devs down the line. Menial maintanence tasks like that[1]
>> tend to end up sucking down a lot of people's time and energy in the
>> long run, in my experience.
>> If the lack of an automated "dead package remover" is just a "lack of
>> time / patches welcome" type of thing, I'd volunteer to take a crack at
>> writing the thing. If it isn't, I'd really like to know why.
> By 'dead' you mean a package no longer available in the official repos? I
> would be for such tool provided I could disable it. For example, I still have
> grub-legacy and don't care to migrate to grub2, so I don't want pacman to
> remove my grub1. 

By 'dead' I mean a package that depends on things in the repos that are
no longer there. I was thinking of something that would be detecting
these in the repo and removing their availability purely on the
server-side so they didn't show up in -Ss, (or even just marking them in
some way), not anything touching installed packages on the end of a user
running pacman. At the very most, I'd propose having pacman warn the
user about the situation so they knew about it, that's about it.

Jeremiah Dodds

github: https://github.com/jdodds
irc   : exhortatory

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