[pacman-dev] Sg and Rg options && categories

Nagy Gabor ngaba at bibl.u-szeged.hu
Fri Sep 21 03:51:42 EDT 2007

> The options that Dan originally suggested would still work though. But in
> this case, I would prefer them more symetrical, that is :
> -S and -R look for packages first, and then fallback on groups.
> -Sg and -Rg only look for groups.

Yes, that assymetric -R and -S was even worse ;-) But I still prefer the
deterministic way.

> Secondly, I began working a bit on this, and I have other questions.
> 1) -S looks for packages first, then fallbacks on groups. But there is
> actually a second fallback if group isn't found : providers.
> But I already saw an user once on IRC who was confused by this behavior :
> "why the hell isn't pacman installing what I asked it to?"
Yes, I don't keep this behaviour in my mind neither. This is rarely used imho,
because if I know what I want to install then I use the correct package name;
and -Ss also lists package names only.
> But personally, I think it's a neat feature.
> eg you can "pacman -S cdrtools" because you only remember that name, and
> don't know it has been replaced by cdrkit. And pacman will automatically
> pull
> cdrkit, since cdrtools doesn't exist but is providen by cdrkit.

I would prefer a confirmation message like "cdrtools package is not found.
However cdrkit package provides it. Do you want to install cdrkit? [Y/n]"

But providers can also be used in a symmetric way: As I know, in frugalware
repos there is no package named mta, but there are packages which provide mta.
So user may want to do a "pacman -S mta" and pacman will choose a provider
(~undeterministic). mta provision was introduced as a depend satisfier, so this
can be helpful, if user did a "pacman -U darcs...tar.gz" and he got "unsatisfied
dependencies: mta", and he want to resolve this by hand (using your famous
--asdeps option ;-).

During I wrote this paragraph, I started to like the category idea:
I start to understand the differences between groups and categories: Groups is
designed to install a set of packages, categories is desinged to install few
packages from that. So category may contain conflicting packages (imagine mta
category here). However, I still prefer using groups as categories. But I can't
imagine how we could do "pacman -Sg mta" with the current fronted: it's annoying
that if the group has 100 members, I must answer to 100 questions, if I don't
want to install the whole group/category.
This method would be much better (but harder to implement):
media group has the following members: 1-xmms, 2-audacious, 3-bmp, 4-moc ...
Which packages do you want to install? 2,4 [or I could answer A (all)].

Bye, ngaba

SZTE Egyetemi Könyvtár - http://www.bibl.u-szeged.hu
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