a more simple question?

John G. Heim jheim at math.wisc.edu
Wed Mar 6 15:37:42 UTC 2013

Right, well there are a lot of ways to categorize the packages in 
debian. But I'm guessing Karen meant she wanted a list of packages by 
categories like word processing, mail clients, etc.  You can get lists 
of packages by very broad categories like mail, desktop, etc. But if 
there is a way to get a  list of all the word processors, I don't know 
what it is.

Like I said in another message, it's not a realistic request. No 
operating system has a list of all the possible applications by 
category. Does DOS come with such a list? I know Microsoft DOS doesn't. 
Maybe 4DOS or FreeDOS does, I can't say for sure. But I doubt it.

Actually, you're probably better off in linux than any other operating 
system because there is the apt-cache search command. FreeDOS had a 
similar package installation system last time I tried it which was 4 or 
5 years ago. But it was based off the apt system from linux and it 
certainly wasn't any better.

On 3/6/2013 2:35 AM, Tony Baechler wrote:
> What Debian list are you talking about?  You can just type "aptitude"
> from a command prompt and get a nice list of packages by category with
> full descriptions.  I'm surprised no one mentioned this as it was one of
> the first things I learned.  When I got started, Aptitude wasn't really
> in use, so I used "dselect" instead which does much the same thing.  You
> can also visit http://packages.debian.org/ and browse by category.  I'm
> not sure what you mean by upgrading from an unknown site.  There is a
> large list of Debian mirrors which you can browse with any web browser
> or ftp client.  Look at ftp://mirrors.kernel.org/debian/ for one
> example.  All of the packages are cryptographically signed to prevent
> tampering and they're verified to be complete before they're installed,
> something you almost never find in Windows and DOS.
> I meant it when I said doing the install isn't hard.  You can pretty
> much just press Enter at the prompts and it does the right thing unless
> it can't find your hardware.  The only exception is if you want to do
> your own fancy hard drive partitioning, but it sounds like you'll be
> using a dedicated machine so you can pretty much accept the defaults.
> What I meant by being easily able to fix things is that Squeeze is very
> stable, so it isn't as though your system will become unbootable unless
> you do something really obvious.  The package manager won't let you do
> anything really bad without warning you.  The worst you would have to do
> is reinstall a package.
> Yes, Shellworld uses FreeBSD, but for practical purposes, it's the same
> as far as Lynx and console programs.  Linux is a form of Unix and most
> Unix programs are portable enough to run on almost any form of Unix,
> whether it's a BSD variant or Linux.  You won't find that kind of
> portability in DOS. That's why the DOS ports of Unix programs require
> djgpp and dos4gw or some other extender.  The idea of djgpp is to be
> able to compile portable programs in a DOS environment.
> Actually, I spent weeks fighting with packet drivers and dial-up
> networking in DOS because I wanted to run Lynx on my own system.  I
> never got it working and couldn't find a way to load my packet driver,
> screen reader, TCP/IP stack, dialer and web browser without it being so
> painfully slow that it wasn't worth it, besides not finding a packet
> driver for my network card in the first place, not to mention the memory
> issues.  I used a dial-up shell account for years because it was so much
> faster and easier, then switched to Windows 98.
> On 3/5/2013 9:39 AM, Karen Lewellen wrote:
>> smiling,
>> I am in the dictionary under in most cases.
>> I detailed what happened on the install attempt. I agree fixing is not
>> hard
>> if one knows what one is doing...witch's been my point.
>> As for the nicely packaged aspect of Linux, I am not sure everyone
>> agrees on
>> that.
>> In fact you are expected to install from unknown sites if you are
>> going to
>> upgrade and the like.
>> Do not mistake me, as I said I applaud all the versatility. What I do not
>> get is the difficulty in reaching that versatility.
>> I asked on the debian list for example to see a list of all the
>> packages by
>> category...no one Could provide this.
>> Indeed the choice of wordpefect is a choice, you might not install
>> every Dos
>> program out there...but you can find understandable information and
>> choose
>> on your own what might be worth exploring.
>> because a few have hand picked for you what you really need, if you
>> are new
>> you might never find what might be useful.
>> Ease in understanding is my point here.
>> Individual choice should be easy to engage in, no matter if others do not
>> think they need the program.
>> I mean how many people use lillypond here? Or movgrabe for that matter?
>> I do not expect anyone else to have to use it just because I want to.
>> Karen
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