Please change deborphan recommends to whiptail | dialog

Bug #347913 reported by Mantas Kriaučiūnas on 2009-03-24
4
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
deborphan (Baltix)
Undecided
Unassigned
deborphan (Debian)
Fix Released
Unknown
deborphan (Ubuntu)
Undecided
Unassigned

Bug Description

Binary package hint: deborphan

Most Ubuntu and Debian packages that depend on dialog package specify whiptail as an alternative. Would it be possible to make it so for deborphan as well? It's the only package preventing me from removing dialog in favor of the other.
Whiptail package is in Ubuntu main archive, while dialog is in universe, so, please change deborphan recommends to "whiptail | dialog"

Few years ago such bugreport was reported in Debian BTS (http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=316371), previous deborphan maintainer closed this bug, because he didn't have time to test how deborphan works with newest whiptail... At 2008 deborphan got new, more active maintainer, so, maybe this time orphaner will start to work with whiptail too ? ;)

On Thu, 30 Jun 2005, Javier Kohen wrote:

> Package: deborphan
> Version: 1.7.15
> Severity: wishlist
>
> Most Debian packages that depend on dialog specify whiptail as an
> alternative. Would it be possible to make it so for deborphan as well?
> It's the only package preventing me from removing dialog in favor of
> the other.

orphaner used to run with whiptail a long time ago but last time I
checked it didn't work.

If you send a patch that makes orphaner work with whiptail then I'm sure
we could do that.

--
 PGP signed and encrypted | .''`. ** Debian GNU/Linux **
    messages preferred. | : :' : The universal
                           | `. `' Operating System
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| orphaner used to run with whiptail a long time ago but last time I
| checked it didn't work.
|
| If you send a patch that makes orphaner work with whiptail then I'm sure
| we could do that.

I close this bug since it is unlikely that I will change orphaner to
work with whiptail. If somebody provides a patch they can always file a
new bug.

--
 PGP signed and encrypted | .''`. ** Debian GNU/Linux **
    messages preferred. | : :' : The universal
                           | `. `' Operating System
 http://www.palfrader.org/ | `- http://www.debian.org/

Mantas Kriaučiūnas (mantas) wrote :

Binary package hint: deborphan

Most Ubuntu and Debian packages that depend on dialog package specify whiptail as an alternative. Would it be possible to make it so for deborphan as well? It's the only package preventing me from removing dialog in favor of the other.
Whiptail package is in Ubuntu main archive, while dialog is in universe, so, please change deborphan recommends to "whiptail | dialog"

Few years ago such bugreport was reported in Debian BTS (http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=316371), previous deborphan maintainer closed this bug, because he didn't have time to test how deborphan works with newest whiptail... At 2008 deborphan got new, more active maintainer, so, maybe this time orphaner will start to work with whiptail too ? ;)

Changed in deborphan:
status: Unknown → Fix Released

On Tue, Mar 24, 2009 at 01:40:13PM -0000, Mantas Kriaučiūnas wrote:
> Most Ubuntu and Debian packages that depend on dialog package specify
> whiptail as an alternative. Would it be possible to make it so for
> deborphan as well?

Orphaner, a text menu based frontend for deborphan, that is included in
the package deborphan uses dialog. It started in 2000 as a little shell
script consisting of about 10 or 20 lines of code. At that time
orphaner was a really trivial script and provided support for both
dialog and whiptail. Over the years it grew in both functionality and
size and has now 471 lines of code (577 including comments and empty
lines).

The growth of functionality lead to two additional buttons. I don't
think displaying four buttons in whiptail is possible. If you find
a possibility to do this please send me a screenshot of whiptail that
looks like this:

http://www.freesoftwaremagazine.com/files/www.freesoftwaremagazine.com/nodes/2531/Orphaned_files_displayed_in_Orphaner.jpg

Besides the problem with the buttons there might be other issues like
different quoting of the return values in whiptail and dialog. The
required wrapping to support both might be tricky, although this was not
a issue when orphaner consisted only of a few lines. Additionally the
original reason of dropping the support of whiptail might still apply
(http://bugs.debian.org/185095), please check if it does before you
further discuss a possible support of whiptail by orphaner.

> Whiptail package is in Ubuntu main archive, while dialog is in
> universe, so, please change deborphan recommends to "whiptail
> | dialog"

Unless the above mentioned issues are resolved I don't see a chance to
set an alternative recommends in deborphan.

I would accept a rewrite of orphaner in C or Perl, but this would be
some work for whoever is interested in doing so. Alternatively whiptail
could be extended to be a drop-in replacement for dialog. I have no
interest in putting the required work into one of these steps since
dialog works for me.

> It's the only package preventing me from removing dialog in favor of
> the other.

I don't think removing a well maintained tool (by upstream and the
Debian maintainer) provides any benefit.

If you feel the need to remove one of these packages, why don't you
remove whiptail? Dialog has more features and no open bugs in Debian,
whiptail has 16 open bugs in the Debian BTS. If all other packages
depend on "whiptail | dialog" it wouldn't make a difference for them
anyway.

Regards
Carsten

CarstenHey (c.hey) wrote :

It has been explained in detail why this bug can not be fixed.

Changed in deborphan:
status: New → Invalid
Mantas Kriaučiūnas (mantas) wrote :

Hi,

sahfkvhzsdfnvhzds wrote:
> I don't think removing a well maintained tool (by upstream and the Debian maintainer) provides any benefit.

It seems you don't understand me - I don't think, thad dialog tool is bad, I just don't wanna keep 2 packages, which do the same job - whiptail and dialog. If there is a way to remove whiptail then I will be happy to do this. But problem is, that 3 important packages in Ubuntu depends on whiptail: pppoeconf and modconf depends on whiptail | whiptail-provider and friendly-recovery depends on whiptail
Also ubuntu developers decided to include whiptail in ubuntu main archive instead of dialog :(
So, maybe I should report RFE bugs against these packages about depending on whiptail | dialog (like most other packages), if you think, that dialog is better, that whiptail ?
Or maybe dialog can be whiptail-provider (if dialog package included whiptail functionality then it could have Provides: whiptail-provider in debian/control file)?

Download full text (3.7 KiB)

On Thu, Apr 02, 2009 at 04:05:10PM -0000, Mantas Kriaučiūnas wrote:
> Also ubuntu developers decided to include whiptail in ubuntu main
> archive instead of dialog :(

The reason for this is that the debian-installer, which was used in the
past as default Ubuntu installer, uses whiptail. Rationale is that
whiptail is thought to be smaller that dialog and space on the installer
is limited. As far as I know the current alternate Ubuntu installer is
based on the debian-installer, so there is probably no chance to remove
whiptail from Ubuntu main unless you convince the debian-installer team
to switch to dialog. The latter step would require some work and at
least you would need to provide a patch for the debian-installer and
prove that dialog including its dependencies is indeed smaller than
whiptail, not vice versa.

dialog(1)
| Comparing actual sizes (Debian testing, 2007/1/10): The total of
| sizes for whiptail, the newt, popt and slang libraries is
| 757kb. The comparable number for dialog (counting ncurses) is
| 520kb.

The size of the udebs is relevant in this particular case, not the size
of the normal binary packages (udeb are some kind of stripped debs). If
there are no udebs for dialog and its dependencies they would need to be
created.

> But problem is, that 3 important packages in Ubuntu depends on
> whiptail: pppoeconf and modconf depends on whiptail
> | whiptail-provider and friendly-recovery depends on whiptail
>
> So, maybe I should report RFE bugs against these packages about
> depending on whiptail | dialog (like most other packages),

There is no such thing like a RFE bug in Debian. Don't use this acronym
when talking to Debian developers, they will not know about what you are
talking.

To convince the debian-installer team to switch to dialog this is
probably a prerequisite. Please check whether those packages work with
dialog before reporting these bugs. Providing a patch will raise the
chances to get such bugs fixed. And please consider filing such bugs
against the Debian BTS for packages that are also in Debian, there is no
reason to needlessly divert from Debian for Ubuntu.

> if you think, that dialog is better, that whiptail ?

Whiptail only provides a subset of the functionality of the one dialog
provides and is IMHO less mature than dialog, or as the former deborphan
maintainer said "whiptail isn't good enough".

dialog(1)
| whiptail is designed to be drop-in compatible with dialog, but
| has less features: some dialog boxes are not implemented, such
| as tailbox, timebox, calendarbox, etc.
|
| (This) ... is misleading, since whiptail also does not work for
| common options of dialog, such as the gauge box. whiptail is less
| compatible with dialog than the decade-old original dialog 0.4
| program.

But whiptail also includes command line options dialog does not provide,
so dialog is not a drop-in replacement for whiptail.

> Or maybe dialog can be whiptail-provider (if dialog package included
> whiptail functionality then it could have Provides: whiptail-provider
> in debian/control file)?

Since whiptail supports e.g. --scrolltext and dialog doesn't, no, this
is not an option. Try whi...

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