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Proposal details:


Debtags is a system being developed to supersede the package sections, which
are not useful anymore due to the large amount of packages.

The core idea of Debtags is to use Faceted Categorization for our packages.
Faceted Categorization is a 50-years-old library science technique which is
being rediscovered by Information Architecture with very good results.

The Debtags effort is developing a powerful and flexible system to attach
"tags" to packages, which allow us to explicit some of their attributes, making
them available to automated tools such as package managers and web interfaces.
Example uses of Debtags are package search, browsing the archive, filtering out
classes of packages like auto-installed shared libraries or localization
packages specific to locales other than the ones compiled in the system.

The Debtags effort needs to face three major problems:

1. Creating a suitable set of tags
2. Categorizing the vast amount of packages
3. Enhancing existing applications with access to the debtags informations

All three issues are being actively attacked with good results:
- there is already a vast set of tags built over time, even if it is in
continuous need of refining;
- a large part of our package archive has been at least partially categorised,
and there is a tool called debtags-edit that every developer and user can
use to categorise the package they know best;
- a new library called 'libapt-front' is being developed as a smart front-end
to libapt which also integrates access to other data sources, which could be
debtags, popcon results and more.

This is the outline of the presentation:

- What is Debtags and how it helps to find packages.
- The current state of the project.
- How to tag your packages.
- How to support Debtags in your application.
- Sample faceted-classification search interfaces.
- Future developments.

This talk is intended to be technical.

I feel I am qualified to talk about this as I am widely known as one of the
core inventors and developers of it. I am part of the debtags[1] and
libapt-front[2] alioth projects.

Some posts I have made on debian-devel about debtags:



Presentation type:

Talk (45 min)









  • Enrico Zini


 Debconf 5
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