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Debian Software Linux

Debian Package of the Day 58

flok writes "The Debian project has started a new webpage: the 'Debian package of the day.' It does what it says — every day another package from the Debian repository is posted with an elaborate description and some nice screenshots. As Debian (and all the other distributions as well) contains way too many packages for it to be feasible to inspect all of them yourself, this is then a nice way of learning about all kinds interesting software packages."
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Debian Package of the Day

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  • top o' the day (Score:5, Interesting)

    by OriginalArlen ( 726444 ) on Sunday March 11, 2007 @01:43PM (#18308544)
    Bored? Looking to kill five minutes? Nothing new on the newsfeeds? Start here...:

    $ ls -l /usr/bin/a*
    I bet you don't know what half of those do. Go hit the man pages (or google up docs on anything your system for which you don't have the manual.) Rinse & repeat for b,c,.. I've been doing this for years & still find plenty of new stuff.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 11, 2007 @01:45PM (#18308560)
    I mean, how would one make a screenshot from the commandline program "screen" ? Its an invaluable tool, tucked away in its own package, and the only way to know that you're using it is using the magical ^AW keycombination. I'd like to seem them making a screenshot out of that :-)
  • Just a thought... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ajehals ( 947354 ) <> on Sunday March 11, 2007 @01:53PM (#18308606) Homepage Journal
    This may go a long way to help people finding those little applications (or large applications :) ) that you don't know exist and don't know you need until you stumble across them. You know, the ones you find out about from someone in IRC or on a random blog or forum, usually out of context and often without knowing how the application name is spelled or what package would provide it... yakuake anyone? - or am I just slow on the uptake...).

    Now if someone where to be really clever then they would integrate this site into a nice gui package manager and make it available with Ubuntu, or any of the other distro's aimed at new Linux users. It would be nice to get some additional info (screen shots etc..) above and beyond the descriptions that are normally availale when using apt. -- if its already been done then excuse me for not having come across it yet.
  • idea for enhancement (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fragbait ( 209346 ) on Sunday March 11, 2007 @02:31PM (#18308828) Homepage
    Along with the package of the day, put a "similar packages" list of links.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 11, 2007 @02:47PM (#18308932)
    Use debtags for that, e.g. you have vim:
    $ apt-cache show vim | grep '^Tag:'
    Tag: devel::editor, interface::text-mode, role::program, scope::application, uitoolkit::ncurses, use::editing, works-with::text

    then you can search for packages with similar tags
    $ debtags search '(works-with::text && use::editing && interface::text-mode)'

    and, whoa, you get quite a lot of stuff, and the first entry, abiword-plugins, seems to be mistagged too :) - But the concept seems sound. IIRC debian also allows wiki-like editing of the tag-db somewhere.


    P.S.: Yes, emacs is among the results:
    emacs21 - The GNU Emacs editor
    emacs21-nox - The GNU Emacs editor (without X support)
    qemacs - Small emacs clone editor with HTML and DocBook editing support
    xemacs21-bin - highly customizable text editor -- support binaries
    zile - very small emacs-like editor
  • Not quite new (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 11, 2007 @02:53PM (#18308968)
    May this "new" project be a reincarnation of this site: [] ? [I've stumbled across this when i wanted to add the feed and wondered that my liferea examples already contained a "Debian Package a Day" feed :)]

    If it is, the question will be: Why did it die back in 2004 (the last article is dated Nov. 15, 2004)? I guess it suffered from not enough people actually adding reviews of packages. As this article help-now/ [] suggest, the new (old?) maintainers are still worried about this problem.

    Let's see how long it'll be alive this time.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 11, 2007 @03:06PM (#18309050)
    I agree that different packages that do roughly the same thing are sometimes hard to compare without installing all of them to try out (and who really wants to do that?). What I tend to do is check their buglist [], and if I'm still curious, there's a beast of a list ranking how "popular" each package is []. You can get a gist for how many other people installed and have used certain packages (or files in them). Of course that doesn't have to correlate with quality, but quality is usually a subjective measure based on one's own needs.
  • by hbar ( 7950 ) on Sunday March 11, 2007 @03:53PM (#18309490) Homepage

    Disclamer: I made the following, so this post is technically self-promotion.

    (Another Unofficial) Debian Package of The Day (updated hourly) []

    This verion ("POTH" - Package of the Hour) differs from the article feature ("DEBADAY"), in that it is fully automated (subject to some filters for interestingness; libraries, -dev packages, etc. are filtered out.) DEBADAY produces deeper and more interesting descriptions, since they are written by humans. POTH is done by a software agent, so it has greater breadth. It covers more packages, and also crosslinks them to popularity contest data, etc.

UNIX is many things to many people, but it's never been everything to anybody.