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Wednesday·21·March·2012

aptitude-gtk will likely vanish //at 01:06 //by abe

from the didn't-learn-to-fly dept.

As Christian already wrote, there’s an Aptitude revival ongoing. We already saw this young team releasing aptitude 0.6.5 about 6 weeks ago, more commits have been made, and now we’re heading towards an 0.6.6 release quickly.

But this revival mostly covers the well-known and loved curses interface (TUI) of aptitude and not the seldomly installed GTK interface, which unfortunately never really took off:

While aptitude itself (i.e. the curses and commandline interface) is installed on nearly 99% of all Debian installations which take part in Debian’s “Popularity Contest” statistics, aptitude-gtk is only installed on 0.42% of all these installations.

One reason is likely that aptitude-gtk still hasn’t all the neat features of the curses interface. And another reason is probably that it’s still quite buggy.

Since nobody from the current Aptitude Team has the experience, leisure or time to resurrect (or even complete) aptitude-gtk, the plan is to stop building aptitude-gtk from the aptitude source package soon, i.e. to remove it from Debian for now.

Like the even less finished Qt interface of aptitude, its code will stay in the VCS, but will be unmaintained unless someone steps up to continue aptitude-gtk (or aptitude-qt, or both), maybe even as its own source package.

So if you like aptitude-gtk so much that you’re still using it and want to continue using it, please think about contributing by joining the Aptitude Team and getting aptitude’s GUI interface(s) back in shape.

Another option would be to find a mentor so that resurrecting (one of) aptitude’s GUI interfaces could become (again) a potential project at Debian’s participation at Google’s Summer of Code.

Please direct any questions about aptitude-gtk or aptitude-qt to the Aptitude Development Mailing List. Or even better, join the discussion in this thread.

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Debian GNU/Linux is my favourite Linux distribution, being stable, flexible, consistent and having a great community. Although I'm not the biggest bug report writer, I try to contribute by staffing the Debian booth at events, carrying the necessary hardware there or even organising the whole booth.


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