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Word from the oracle, or what the hell is reverting to canoncial form

To put it mildly, trying to make some noteworthy progress with getting Debian Linux to run on the PowerBook is not going well. One thing that makes the already-frustrating experience even more unpleasant is getting answers or advice from those in the know. Participation on open source mailing lists is voluntary; we all know this. People answer as they have time, etc.

However, when you have burned 4-6 hours on something, then you hit a brick wall, and then you articulate a fairly detailed question, you hope for some guidance. I have been getting quite a few one-line, cryptic answers that tend to lead me on another 2-hour quest that ends in my learning that the answer was only half the story. I think my frustration is starting to show, as one of my posts from today’s adventures shows:


>Ah, possibly. You should probably revert to the canonical form.

Well, I guess this begs the question: “What does it mean to ‘revert to the canonical form’?” As for the front end I am using, for now I am still speaking of dselect. If dselect is so poor, why is it the default recommendation on all the Debian documentation?
As for the reference earlier to reading the documentation for the front end, I went through the “dselect Documentation for Beginners” tutorial at , read the inline help within all dselect screens as suggested in the documentation, and have since read the following man pages: dselect, sources.list, dpkg, apt-get, deb, and apt-cache. So far the only reference to specifying a specific version of a package has been in the apt-get man page, where it mentions /etc/apt/preferences and its use for “pinning”. I have yet to find a reference to canonical form, much less how to revert to it.