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On the Ubuntu packages website (as well as on the Debian packages website), the page for each package contains a list of "similar packages." For example, on the page for Kate in the Bionic repository, the sidebar on the right provides a list of similar packages:
nedit
juffed
ne
juffed-plugins
libjuff0.10
juffed-dev
libjuffed-engine-qsci0.10
scribes
kate-data
kate5-data
puddletag

I cannot find any information in the documentation or anywhere else about how this list is calculated. I suspect that packages.debian.org is using a different data set than Ubuntu, since the similar package lists on Debian's site are often different. For example, the Debian Stretch page for Kate lists
bluefish-plugins
bluefish
kwrite
bluefish-data
codelite-plugins
bluefish-dbg
tea

as similar packages.

What I am looking for is an automatic way to get the list of similar packages for a given package from the terminal. i.e., I want some function which takes the name of a package as input and returns the list of similar packages that are shown on the packages website. It would probably be possible for a web crawler to scrape the package list, but it seems to me like there should be a better way to do it.

As far as I can tell from searching through documentation, the similar package lists are not visible to apt, apt-cache, synaptic, or any of the other front-ends for dpkg that I know of. Is this information available anywhere other than the package websites? If not, is there an API I should use for packages.debian.org or packages.ubuntu.com rather than using a web scraper?

Thanks

0

maybe

apt-cache search <package_name> | grep <another_keyword>

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