Written by scavenger the 26 Jul 08 at 10:30.
Ubuntu should offer to remove software I once used and now forgot to remove. Graphical apps that show up in the menu I don't forget that much, but I usually install whole shiploads of cli apps that I think I need, which makes my PC slower.
To realise this, Ubuntu should take notes of every app that's started, excluding system apps (echo, ls, cat).
@tenplus1: you said it's up to the user to remember what you installed and don't need, not Ubuntu. I think the purpose of this is to handle that exact situation. Right now Ubuntu doesn't have to keep track. But say I install something with 13 dependencies through synaptic. I'm not going to take the time to take down each of those and remember them. I'll just click through and install. When I decide to get rid of this program, all of these dependencies SHOULD be removed. Nothing needs them, but they are still there.
This actually happened to me today, I installed a package (gpsdrive) and it had about 10 dependencies, I removed the original package but the dependencies all still stick around. Totally a pain.
Windows' add/remove programs window has got a 'Usage: ' label. For each program, it records if you use the program a lot. I would like something like that, with a suggestion to remove all of them.
And *yes*, Linux does get less pleasant to work with if you install loads of packages. Starting up takes longer because of the deamons, fsck takes longer because of disk usage and your menu and 'hidden directories in /home/user' gets cluttered.
@il1019: Dependencies that are no longer needed should indeed be removed. Personally, I use aptitude to install/remove packages and it does keep good track of dependencies. 'apt-get autoremove' should do the same. Synaptic and the Add/Remove-menu entry, I don't know.