I hardly ever hear anyone mention
dselect, a deprecated package management front-end for Debian. Considering that it still exists as part of dpkg source, it must still have its uses. What are those? How does it compare with
Dselect is an interactive dpkg front-end that resolves dependencies and conflicts. It lacks most of apt's advanced features: no differenciation between Suggests/Recommends/Depends, less good dependency and conflict resolution, no support for multiple sources of packages, no apt pinning/preferences, no automatically-installed package mark, …
(This is from memory. Actually dselect can now use apt backends for some functions, at least it can download from apt's
Dselect got a lot of hate simply from having unusual key bindings. I think your question will bring out unfond memories in some people.
I suppose dselect can still be useful if you want an interactive package selector with smaller memory consumption than apt.
Deselect doesn't have any of the wonderful dependency resolution, but you can kind of think of deselect as a curses based "synaptic". However, you only want to make selections with deselect; don't actually do the installation.
After making selections run this:
Best of both worlds.
I noticed this is a fairly old question. To answer it in a more modern tone, dselect is fairly old and obsolete. aptitude is far more consistent into evaluating dependencies than dselect and apt-get, and as a bonus, it you call aptitude without arguments, you have a dselect-like interface that works so much better.
aptitude does not come installed by default, and in Debian you have to do:
apt-get install aptitude