[pacman-dev] A proposition for an enhancement - addition of category info to .PKGINFO

Bozhidar Batsov lordbad at e-card.bg
Tue Jun 19 10:42:27 EDT 2007

ngaba at petra.hos.u-szeged.hu wrote:
>> Not at all. Suppose say that all the text editors where in a group
>> called editors. Then pacman -S editors would have installed all of them,
>> and I very much doubt the possibility that anyone will ever need every
>> available editor. The categories on the other hand are only a way of
>> grouping packages for easier searching/browsing through them. This
>> becomes especially valuable when you need a package from a certain
>> category, but you are not acquainted with all of the possible options.
>> Say you need a video player but you're new to the world of GNU/Linux.
>> You haven't heard of mplayer, xine, vlc. But if there is category
>> multimedia you just scan the packages in it and try them until you like
>> some. So I think that a category info would be a most valuable asset to
>> .PKGINFO and the community itself... The way I see it a package can
>> belong to several categories at once - for example totem would be in
>> both multimedia and gnome categories.
> I still think, that groups are ideal for this ;-)
> After "pacman -S editors" you get a question if you want to install the 
> whole group content or you wanna choose some packages by hand, this is 
> useful for "categories" too imho. AFAIK packages can belong to multiple 
> groups too. However, I'm not sure, that we can split groups between 
> repos, but probably we can.
> Bye, ngaba
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Every component of a package management system should have only one well
defined and clear purpose. Groups should not be use out of their
originally intended context and the inclusion of categories information
would be very easy and straight-forward. It would require the addition
of only a couple of methods to libalpm and pacman. The packages that do
not currently include category info in their .PKGINFO file will be
considered members of some standard category - say "Others", or will be
considered to simply have no category and will be outside the scope of
the tools that deal with categories. Then each maintainer while
preparing the release of the new packages maintained by him will simply
add the category info and in a couple of months most packages will be
using this system. If the developers don't have the time/desire/manpower
to look into my suggestion I will personally volunteer to provide a
sample implementation which that they may consider.
P.S. All other major PMS support categories - portage, yum, apt...
Pacman should not lag behind.

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