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Do packages have "long description"? I miss it

(Peter K2Dx) #1

In other linuxes there were long descriptions of packages. (apt-cache show etc.)
In void linux (so far) I could not find such thing. (Other than always opening the project page in a web browser.)

I have found a page which contains "{-S,–long-desc}’[Long description]:long description:"
But I am not sure what does it mean.
(Maybe the possibility is or will be there, but most package creators leave it empty? - What is the case?)


If the package is not installed on your system you must use the R switch:

xbps-query -RS <pkgname>


:rowing_man: I have no idea how you found this, but you went the wrong way.

(Masato the Empty) #4

There is a long description option listed for xbps-create, but I don’t know if it ever saw any use (I don’t think I’ve ever seen the long descriptions I gave packages returned in any queries, back when I first started using Void --I packaged my software builds using a script with xbps-create before I started using xbps-src as a build environment).

Maybe it’s a leftover from things that never came about…

(Erin) #5

Void xbps-query man page is always worth a read.

-S, --show PKG [--repository] [--property PROP]
    Shows information of an installed package. This is the default mode if no other mode is set. If the --repository option is set, the matched PKG in repositories will be shown. If a package property is specified with --property, only that property will be shown.

(Masato the Empty) #6

@Erin Good point. If the package is created, that may let you see it. I wonder if there are properties that xbps-query doesn’t show by default, because as I mentioned (perhaps not clearly) I have made packages using those flags, but I don’t recall having every seen that property show up in a regular query. (caveat: that’s mid-late 2016 for me, I quickly moved on to using the proper xbps-src build environment, and a lot has happened since then)

but @PyqpIa7K2Dx - now that I think of it, that property doesn’t seem to be used in xbps-src, so it wouldn’t be in any regular Void package (see common/hooks/do-pkg/00-gen-pkg.sh in xbps-src). Meaning it’s not even possible for any regular void packages to use that property.


@Erin Your post is redundant, @cardinal had already replied…

(edit: further discussion on this might be impolite to the OP, so I’ll stop there :zipper_mouth_face: )

(Erin) #8

@cr6 @cardinal’s post an mine answer different things. @cardinal is talking about the -R switch, mine is about referring to the manual for other features not discussed in the wiki for example… sometimes we need to remind ourselves and rtm.

(Masato the Empty) #9

@Erin, @PyqpIa7K2Dx
You may find this interesting - it doesn’t show up by default, but using --property long_desc I’ve just confirmed you can see it if it was set (turns out I do happen to have one of my old packages installed still… probably needs an update…)

Still, what I said before applies - xbps-src doesn’t use the option so you won’t see it on any Void packages unless

  • functionality gets integrated into xbps-src (at glance, this looks rather easy to do, actually)
  • package mantainers actually use it (inertia is a fundamental aspect of the universe…)

I’m not intimate with the history of xbps but it seems likely to me that xbps was always about the build system. So either that’s a leftover aspect that never got purged from the .xbps format, or it was added to the format but it never materialized in the build system.


I would suggest installing the gui device octoxbps, which resembles synaptic, for easy access to some descriptions.

(Erin) #11

Octoxbps is not recommended. It has issues.


Sorry if this is a dumb question, but what issues does it have?

(Erin) #13

Rather than repeat all the issues here, it is discussed many times in the forum. The two highlights are it is unmaintained and does not do dependency management correctly.


As octoxbps is only a wrapper isn’t dependency management handled by XBPS itself?

The problem (at least for me) was that using the forum’s search function I could not find anything. Maybe I didn’t use it in the right way.

Now I just accidentially stumbled upon this post and better understand :blush:. Maybe collecting the facts in a separate thread would make it easier for void newbies to find this information.