Alternatives problems

James Vega jamessan at
Wed Mar 15 16:02:05 UTC 2006

On 3/15/06, Stefano Zacchiroli <zack at> wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 14, 2006 at 10:33:52PM -0500, James Vega wrote:
> > I noticed today that there is a slight problem with installing multiple
> > variants alongside each other.  As an example, both vim-perl and
> > vim-python would run the following command in their postinst:
> >
> >   update-alternatives \
> >     --install /usr/bin/vi vi /usr/bin/vim 50 \
> >     --slave $mandir/vi.1.gz vi.1.gz $mandir/vim.1.gz
> >
> > This results in only one entry listed in update-alternatives:
> Weren't we used to have the non-variant alternatives handling in
> non-variant packages? I.e.: why that code is in vim-{perl,python,...}
> instead of being in vim-common?

The manpage is part of the alternative, though.  If someone has nvi
installed along with vim-common (but no vim package), the vi alternative
should still point to nvi's manpage.  I think we could reduce the number
of manpages being handled by alternatives to just those that other
packages provide alternatives for, i.e. vi, ex, editor, and view.  That would
still require addressing this issue for those 4 manpages, though.

> I understand it will create dangling symlink there, but it seems to be
> the right place and will fix the above problem.

Oh, are you suggesting that all alternative handling is moved back into
vim-common?  I'd have to strongly disagree with doing that specifically
because of the dangling symlinks it will cause in /usr/bin.  Moving strictly
the manpage alternatives to vim-common is a possibility, but as I mentioned
above, I don't think it's ideal.

GPG Key: 1024D/61326D40 2003-09-02 James Vega <jamessan at>

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