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

Xavier shiningxc at gmail.com
Fri Sep 21 08:40:56 EDT 2007

On Fri, Sep 21, 2007 at 09:51:42AM +0200, Nagy Gabor wrote:
> > 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.

But if 90 % of the users would find this confusing, well...

> > 
> > 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.

-Ss also search for providers.
Try pacman -Ss cdrtools , and then pacman -Ss ^cdrtools$ .

> > 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 don't know it has been replaced by cdrkit.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 ;-).

--asdeps is from Dan btw :) :

About providers, pacman choosing the first provider is really a problem. See
the recent bug report :

> During I wrote this paragraph, I started to like the category idea:
> http://bugs.archlinux.org/task/7132
> 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)].

That would help solving the multive providers problem as well.

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