Making apt think file-roller is installed

Is there any reason why it would be a bad idea to make a package for apt that makes apt believe file roller is installed when really, it is a symbolic link for engrampa which would take less disk space than file-roller would?

I’m honestly not against file-roller in any significant way, it is just; engrampa has feature parity with file-roller right? If it does, I see no sense in forcing the user to decide between one and the other if what is supplied is both sufficient and of a user’s preference. So a package that includes a bit of software to convert arguments for file-roller so engrampa can understand (if necessary) and a means to link engrampa so it also acts as file-roller would be a great thing to have for people who outright despise redundancy that leads to system bloat.

(Hehe, coming from the same person who dedicated a fair portion of his life here to writing about how to install nemo with minimal deps but that’s because I consider nemo a functionally superior FM.)

Why do you wan’t to link the binary ? As long as I am aware of , file managers use the bindings of the archiver for operations by their plugins . (e.g. the “archive here” functions and the others) If you want these specific operations to work for other archiver programs, then a new plugin is needed with the archiver binding you want or you can use “caja/gnome-actions-config-tool” to make the menus with binary calling scripts . Isn’t there a patched nemo version for ubuntu ?

It's in Ubuntu's repos because Ubuntu supports Cinnamon. If you read my post about Nemo in section TT&T then you'll find that I tell people to use a PPA in order to keep their system lean and install only what is needed for Nemo, and not the entire Cinnamon desktop since most people using Ubuntu MATE wouldn't be using CInnamon, so it would just be a waste of space on top of having two file managers installed on the same system.

Now, what I am saying is to have engrampa do everything, including whatever file-roller does because there are some programs that need file-roller, which is an archival utility exactly like engrampa, but then it forces the user to choose between two programs that essentially do the same thing, which neither appear functionally superior to the other.

Matter of fact, everything MATE had initially is whatever GNOME 2.18 had before being discontinued for GNOME 3 / GNOME-Shell and a lot of things in MATE now are just forks of existing GNOME projects. Part of the reason why nemo can just be dropped in as it can, because nemo is a fork of nautilus, as is caja, but different versions of it, and I believe nemo to be functionally superior hence why I did a guide on it.

Could somebody enlighten me on which of the two archive managers are superior?.

I think engrampa doesn’t support editing or creating ISO files, whereas file roller does. Nevertheless sometimes it’s another application that brings an unwanted app as dependency, in that case I think one should check if the main app really needs it for some functionality or else file a bug about it.

I suppose the easiest way to "fool" Apt into thinking you have file-roller installed is to either create a "dummy" package and set up a symbolic links to the binary or grab a engrampa package and rename the control file inside it before installing it.

The only real difference I know between the two is that engrampa is missing some formats (like .war) compared to file-roller, as well as the ability to create ISO files. Installing both as @Asta1986 points out will only clutter the system with unwanted GNOME dependencies.

It doesn't, I reported this a couple of years ago.