So interesting times

Enrico Zini enrico at
Thu Sep 28 13:30:44 UTC 2006

Hi all,

I can't wait for it to be tomorrow afternoon when I should have some
debtags playing time.

Erich did some javascript tag cloud.  And interactive tag clouds are
probably the coolest thing to provide as a link for
when people click on a tag.  That can replace the current navigator we
have at

I started using xapian, which is cool.  It does fast text search with
stemming and whatnot:

It can also dig similar packages by description, which is cool.  I can
already use it to suggest tags, until we manage to put some of the
bayesian code we are accumulating into production.

Then there's the new tag editing interface to do.  I can add the smart
search idea to it allowing to display tags giving keywords: and that'd
work according to existing tag practices, which rocks.

The C++ daemon backend that we now have for the website is great to
allow to quickly intermix updates and queries, and give it a chance to
scale.  Maybe it means we can start handling mail submissions on Alioth
as well?

distro-wise I have a plan to get rid of apt-index-watcher.  The plan is
already working, needing just some more tests.  I'd also like to have
the packaged somewhere, so that people can play with the
data.  Work is underway.

And let's not forget the debtags-updatecontrol experiment, which shows
some good.  I've already sent my first tag override update to aj
incorporating data from there.

Other ideas?  For example, implementing xapian-indexing in libept, and
finally have a package manager with amazingly fast search-as-you-type.

And that, as a side effect, would create a xapian package description
index for any installed software to use.

I haven't forgotten popcon.  That's another piece of data to make
available to package managers, and I already know how to do it.

With Phil Hands at Debconf6 we had also started designing a way to use
the unaggregated popcon database to implement a functionality like
"users which have installed a similar range of packages than you have,
also have packages X and Y installed: would you be interested?"

And this all feels like just a beginning...



GPG key: 1024D/797EBFAB 2000-12-05 Enrico Zini <enrico at>
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