I manage my packages with aptitude.
I occasionally go through my list of packages, removing obsolete applications (in the sense that I do not want to use them any more).
For example, while I have a limited number of development libraries on my
system that I do want installed permanently, a lot were just there to
allow me to compile some program from source once, and a long time
ago. To make those clean-up sessions take unneeded dependencies into
account, I use the
markauto command of
The problem is that I sometimes can no longer trust my memory to make the difference between packages that are transient, and things that I need to keep (because, e.g., I will need them to recompile something tomorrow). The situation is even more acute when I share administration duties over a server with another admin. Alternatively, I wish I would have the discipline to clean up all packages that are transient after use, but history proves it's too much to hope for.
Hence : is there a tool that, like markauto would let me annotate packages at installation time, not with a flag but with a simple comment string saying why they are being installed?
Ideally, that comment would be retrievable with aptitude (or synaptic, or whatever kids these days use to manage packages). Ideally, this would be something that me and another admin on the same server can collaborate on, and it would thus, for example, benefit from the same lock-management system as the package-tree already has.