Comment 4 for bug 347913

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

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:

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
(, 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