Bullet lists in package descriptions are not displayed correctly for PPA packages

Bug #584147 reported by Bogdan Marinov on 2010-05-22
This bug affects 6 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Launchpad itself
software-center (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: software-center

Version is 2.0.4, the one in Lucid Lynx.
Ubuntu Software Center 2.1.19, Ubuntu Maverick

Software Center supports bullet lists in package descriptions, but it seems that the implementation fails for packages retrieved from a PPA.

For example:
1) The description of the last official release of Stellarium in Ubuntu's repositories contains a bulleted list and it is rendered normally. (You can see it in the Featured Applications feature.)
2) The description of the test build in Stellarium's PPA is messed up (see the attached screenshot) - line breaks are missing, so the whole list is rendered as a single item.

I've been trying to work around this issue for some time now. I've migrated from dashes to asterisks, but it doesn't make a difference. What did make a difference was when I put a dot-line (empty line) after "Some features:" - this way, the list block is treated as a new paragraph and the first bullet is put correctly. Unfortunately, it breaks after that.

Both Synaptic and GDebi recognize the list, so "not following Debian standards" is not a reason.

I will attach the control file of that Stellarium package too.

Bogdan Marinov (daggerstab) wrote :
Andrew (and471) on 2010-08-15
Changed in software-center (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
komputes (komputes) wrote :

This is not limited to PPAs. Ubuntu Software Center shows bullets as the letter 'o'. This affects many apps.

Example (ogmrip):
ogmrip is an application and a set of libraries for ripping and encoding DVD into AVI, OGM MP4 or Matroska files using a wide variety of codecs. It relies on mplayer, mencoder, ogmtools, mkvtoolnix, oggenc, lame and faac to perform its tasks. o transcodes from DVD or files o outputs ogm, avi, mp4 or matroska files o calculates video bitrate for a given filesize o calculates cropping parameters and scaling factors o supports multiple audio and subtitles streams encoding o lots of codecs (vorbis, mp3, pcm, ac3, dts, aac, xvid, lavc, x264, theora) o uses maximum quality codec switches o rips contiguous chapters

Gary Lasker (gary-lasker) wrote :

Verified problem still exists in latest dev release (see screenshot).

description: updated
Michael Vogt (mvo) on 2010-09-14
Changed in software-center (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Fix Committed
importance: Undecided → Medium
Kiwinote (kiwinote) wrote :
Download full text (3.7 KiB)

software-center (2.1.20) maverick; urgency=low

  [ Michael Vogt ]
  * softwarecenter/backend/login_sso.py:
    - improve help text now that ubuntu-sso-client is more flexible
      about it (thanks to Naty Bidart) LP: #624097
  * debian/control:
    - tighten dependency of ubuntu-sso-client (for the helptext)
  * softwarecenter/db/update.py, softwarecenter/db/application.py:
    - add X-AppInstall-Description support and extract it from
      software-center-agent to support long descriptions from
      the agent (LP: #625254)
  * softwarecenter/view/pendingview.py:
    - add pulse for pending purchases (LP: #637377)
  * softwarecenter/utils.py:
    - improve logging of the imagedownloader
    - fix where-is-it for kde4 apps (LP: #635684)
  * softwarecenter/distro/Ubuntu.py:
    - fix icon downloading from extras.ubuntu.com and support possible
      country mirrors
  * softwarecenter/view/appdetailsview_gtk.py:
    - show pulse once the install starts (LP: #637377)
    - support "where is it" for non app-install-data if the desktop
      file has the same name as the package name (LP: #637452)
    - fix icon display in "where is it" if Icon=/path/to/file
  * softwarecenter/apt/aptcache.py:
    - add installed_count to the cache
  * softwarecenter/view/appdetailsview_gtk.py:
    - support bullets with " o item" in the description
      (LP: #584147)
  * send version of the package to screenshots.ubuntu.com so that it
    can return the most appropriate image. that is supported by debshoots
    now thanks to Christoph Haas
  * softwarecenter/backend/aptd.py:
    - fix a flickering in the viewswitcher spinenr when purchasing
      a application
    - hide the "buy" button when installing a purchase, fix uneven
  * merged lp:~mmcg069/software-center/small-ui-fix:
    - fix small horizonal line positioning bug.

  [ Gary Lasker ]
  * softwarecenter/view/softwarepane.py:
    - show a more reasonable number for hidden technical items
      in the installed view of "Provided by Ubuntu"
  * softwarecenter/enums.py,
    - create an alternative spinner widget that uses an animated gif
      for when gtk.Spinner is not available (LP: #637422)
  * softwarecenter/view/appview.py:
    - fix crash in _on_transaction_finished (LP: #631132)
    - enable show/hide technical items for "Installed Software"
  * softwarecenter/app.py:
    - fix crash in on_menu_edit_activate (LP: #624913)

  [ Kiwinote ]
  * softwarecenter/view/appdetailsview_gtk.py:
    - add basic a11y support for addon items
    - add a11y support for 'where is it'
  * softwarecenter/view/appview.py:
    - set buttons which aren't rendered insensitive (LP: #630521)
    - use a greyed out 'question mark' icon for pkg not found (LP: #635081)
    - for exact pkg not found matches, we don't always have a appname, whoops
  * softwarecenter/view/cat_view.py:
    - set verbose a11y name for the 'all' button for carousels, such that we
      include the secti...


Changed in software-center (Ubuntu):
status: Fix Committed → Fix Released
Jonathan Thomas (jonoomph) wrote :

I am still seeing this bug in the Ubuntu 11.04 (natty) software center. DEB file shows the list correctly. Universe repository shows the list correctly. But the exact same package in a PPA does not show the list of asterisks correctly. Should I submit a new bug?

Bogdan Marinov (daggerstab) wrote :

I'm reopening the bug.

The behavior is still present in software-center 3.0.7 (the package version in synaptic). For example, look at the description of the stellarium package in "ppa:stellarium/stellarium".

The bug is described in the changelog in comment #5 above as "support bullets with " o item" in the description". *This is wrong.* Note that in my original report, Stellarium uses asterisks. In the current version, it uses dashes. Both are not rendered correctly.

There may be a problem with the line ending characters - list items are not recognized as separate lines, which means that newlines are stripped somewhere.

Changed in software-center (Ubuntu):
status: Fix Released → New
Dmitry Shachnev (mitya57) wrote :

The list is rendered OK if there is no " ." line before the first line. Example:

 Features of the package:
  * feature 1
  * feature 2

Bogdan Marinov (daggerstab) wrote :

The dot line before the first bulleted line in the original bug report was a result of an unsuccessful attempt to work around the bug. If you are talking about this, there's no such dot line in the description of the package that currently shows the bug. See ppa:stellarium/stellarium-releases

Or do you mean the other dot line in front of "Some features:" in my file?

Dmitry Shachnev (mitya57) wrote :

No, I mean the line after "Some features".
Without this line:
* The package description is correct when you view it from "Installed" section or when you open the .deb file with USC.
* The description is displayed like in the first screenshot when you view the package from "Avaliable" section.
This is a strange behaviour, I think.
// I use the package "testy" from my ppa:mitya57 as the test case.

Dmitry Shachnev (mitya57) wrote :

One more note:
* The description in "Installed" section is displayed correctly only if the package was installed from .deb file, not from the repository/ppa.

Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote :

In USC, the bulleted lists display fine for both stellarium and ogmrip. I can't see how the description for stellarium from <https://launchpad.net/~stellarium/+archive/stellarium-testing> is displayed, because it contains no Oneiric builds, and even if it did, they're older than the version in the Ubuntu archive.

Does anyone have an example of a bulleted list that is displaying incorrectly in USC in Ubuntu 11.10 beta?

Changed in software-center (Ubuntu):
status: New → Incomplete
Bogdan Marinov (daggerstab) wrote :

I'll try to upload a test package of the development version later today or tomorrow.

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

[Expired for software-center (Ubuntu) because there has been no activity for 60 days.]

Changed in software-center (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Expired
B. Clausius (barcc) wrote :

The bug is not in in Software Center, the Package Description provided by Launchpad are wrong.

The Description in the package itself is correct (bullets are indented by an extra space):
    wget -O- http://ppa.launchpad.net/stellarium/stellarium-testing/ubuntu/pool/main/s/stellarium/stellarium_0.10.6~bzr4813-0ubuntu1ppa1~maverick1_amd64.deb >/tmp/foo.deb; dpkg -I /tmp/foo.deb

The Description from Launchpad is wrong (bullets are indented by an extra space):
    wget -O- http://ppa.launchpad.net/stellarium/stellarium-testing/ubuntu/dists/maverick/main/binary-i386/Packages

A more recent example:
    wget -O /tmp/foo.deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/gedit-bc-dev-plugins/releases/ubuntu/pool/main/g/gedit-projects/gedit-projects_1.0_all.deb; dpkg -I /tmp/foo.deb
    wget -O- http://ppa.launchpad.net/gedit-bc-dev-plugins/releases/ubuntu/dists/oneiric/main/binary-amd64/Packages

Some software on Launchpad incorrectly strips spaces before bullet list. That confuses software that formats descriptions like Software Center and Aptitude. Synaptic is not affected because it does not format the description but display it as plain text.

B. Clausius (barcc) on 2012-02-26
Changed in software-center (Ubuntu):
status: Expired → Invalid
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in launchpad:
status: New → Confirmed
Dmitry Shachnev (mitya57) wrote :

@barcc: package descriptions are provided by packages, not by Launchpad :)

Changed in launchpad:
status: Confirmed → Invalid
Dmitry Shachnev (mitya57) wrote :

Oh, sorry, you are right... It's Launchpad that generates Packages file (but it probably uses some other tools for doing that).

Changed in launchpad:
status: Invalid → Confirmed
Changed in launchpad:
importance: Undecided → Low
Curtis Hovey (sinzui) on 2012-03-01
Changed in launchpad:
status: Confirmed → Triaged
tags: added: packages
B. Clausius (barcc) wrote :

Not only PPA's are affected but also the partner archive. Look at skype in http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu/dists/precise/partner/binary-amd64/Packages.bz2

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