2

Several years I notice that Ubuntu is lacking packages full descriptions. F.ex. Debian have this description for 'aptitude':

Package: aptitude (0.6.8.2-1)

terminal-based package manager

aptitude is a package manager with a number of useful features, including: a mutt-like syntax for matching packages in a flexible manner, dselect-like persistence of user actions, the ability to retrieve and display the Debian changelog of most packages, and a command-line mode similar to that of apt-get.

aptitude is also Y2K-compliant, non-fattening, naturally cleansing, and housebroken.

Ubuntu has this poor description:

terminal-based package manager

It have happened since 'precise' release. 'trusty', 'utopic' and 'vivid' are affected too. What's wrong with the package description?

2
  • The example description for aptitude looks a LOT better with word-wrap on... the horizontal scrollbar isn't good for that big one line. Please leave it edited with word-wrapping on, or split into smaller lines?
    – Xen2050
    Dec 9 '14 at 11:33
  • Looks super now! Was starting to look a little like an "edit war" there ;-)
    – Xen2050
    Dec 9 '14 at 11:42
3

Long story short, the long descriptions were removed from the core Packages files, no doubt to lower their file-size. Localised descriptions are shipped out in separate files and the main packages list only has a skimpy version, like:

Description: terminal-based package manager

But I'm British (en-GB) so when apt-get update happens, you can see it downloading translations for both US English and GB English:

Hit http://archive.ubuntu.com trusty-proposed/main Translation-en        
Hit http://archive.ubuntu.com trusty-proposed/main Translation-en_GB    

Both of these files have a separate localised version of the long description but the British trumps that colonial gobbledygook, so when I run apt-cache show aptitude on 14.04, I see:

Description-en_GB: terminal-based package manager
 aptitude is a package manager with a number of useful features, including:
 a mutt-like syntax for matching packages in a flexible manner, dselect-
 like persistence of user actions, the ability to retrieve and display the
 Debian changelog of most packages, and a command-line mode similar to that
 of apt-get.
 .
 aptitude is also Y2K-compliant, non-fattening, naturally cleansing, and
 housebroken.

That you're not seeing translations suggests that your language has no translation so it's just using the default one-liner from the main Packages list.

You can see a list of available translations in the relevant i18n directory listing. Have a look at yours. Confirm the missing translation and then do... Something. I'm honestly not sure what the process is for adding a new package translation.

Or as muru suggests, you may have disabled translations. Even if you haven't you could hack that to download en translations, even if you aren't English (as long as you can read it!)

6
  • I don't get such a paragraph on Ubuntu 14.04. Only the line from the question is present. Does it depend on what repositories on has enabled?
    – muru
    Dec 9 '14 at 11:44
  • Synaptic is great for a more gui-ish package manager, it looks very similar to aptitude too. Would that be ironic that midenok's example package is a solution to his problem?
    – Xen2050
    Dec 9 '14 at 11:49
  • Also the package index pages differ too: packages.ubuntu.com/precise/aptitude vs packages.ubuntu.com/lucid/aptitude
    – muru
    Dec 9 '14 at 11:59
  • apt-cache show aptitude doesn't show full description to me. As was mentioned, it happened recently: since precise (I use vivid). You can verify this in packages.ubuntu.com.
    – midenok
    Dec 9 '14 at 12:46
  • 1
    That might be it. I disabled translations.
    – muru
    Dec 9 '14 at 13:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.