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Author: Olaf Meeuwissen
To: dng
Old-Topics: Re: [DNG] Alternatives to synaptic?
Subject: [DNG] Pager (was Re: Alternatives to synaptic?)

Erik Christiansen writes:

> On 10.01.20 11:10, Alessandro Vesely via Dng wrote:
>> On Fri 10/Jan/2020 01:35:55 +0100 Erik Christiansen wrote:
>> > On 09.01.20 17:44, Alessandro Vesely via Dng wrote:
>> >>
>> >> Synaptic is convenient as it allows to search for keywords, e.g. "pdf", and
>> >> choose a package that does the task at hand. Google does the same, but is not
>> >> version specific.
>> >
>> > For many years I have found "apt-cache search <sometext>", piped to more
>> > or grep for further refining, eminently satisfactory. Yes, "pdf" is a
>> > sufficiently vague query to elicit a surfeit of matches, but when I look
>> > for e.g. "avr", the matchlist is very concise.

Heartily agree with using apt-cache in combination with one's favourite

>> apt-cache, yes! That works very well. If I pipe through less rather than more
>> I can restrict the output by, say, '&view', and examine a package by issuing
>> '!apt-cache show package| less'...
> Ah, thank you for the trade. The less efficient habit of using more and
> grep has remained with me for four decades or more, from before the days
> of SunOS 4.1.3. Less was apparently around even then, but I've never
> looked at its manpage before your hint. ... It's harder to change habits
> now, though.

I've gotten so used to saying `pager` at the command-line that it is one
of the first aliases I create on non-Debian-based systems :-)

On Debian-based systems you get whatever is configured as the default
pager so if you have `less` installed you get that. If you don't have
installed, you get `more`.

Personally, I prefer `lv` as I have to deal with Japanese in various
encodings :-/ but it also does on the fly decompression. Great when
looking at a compressed /usr/share/doc/*/changelog.Debian.gz!

# There's still no zpager, even after asking for it two decades ago :-O
# https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=49942

Hope this helps,
Olaf Meeuwissen, LPIC-2            FSF Associate Member since 2004-01-27
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