Re: New virtual package names.
On Sun, 25 Aug 1996, Ian Jackson wrote:
> I have read all of the discussion. Just because I'm a week behind on
> my email doesn't mean I'm not reading it.
> However, since you seemed so insistent, I went back and had a look at
> what arguments people might have presented.
> I found a rather limited amount of discussion. It did not appear to
> me to have reached a definite conclusion. The virtual package got
> added by the maintainer of the list because noone objected in time.
> The only one I could find was based on the idea that in order for it
> to be safe to remove the `Essential' flag from `ae' it would be
> necessary to use the dependency mechanism to stop people from
> deinstalling it before they install another editor.
> This didn't seem to be stated explicitly in this form, but it was
> clear that people were seeing the idea of an `editor' virtual package
> as an alternative to marking `ae' essential.
> I don't see that this is a true case of alternative solutions to a
> problem: I don't think there is a problem, and I think that it would
> be just fine for `ae' not to be essential and for nothing to depend
> on it.
Thank you for speaking to the issues brought out by the previous
I feel the need to make my position clear here. I have no "axe" to grind
here on this issue. My concerns are only that the issue be resolved
correctly. Part of my concerns stem from the past history of ae. I have
only recently taken over the maintainance of this package. When I got it,
the essential field had been declaired a bug, but the discussion of that
bug seemed to indicate that removal of the essential flag was not a
sufficient solution. In addition, I am concerned by the fact that this
field was only added to the package a couple of revisions ago, and now
needs to be removed.
I don't see any difference, in principle, between an editor and a
mail-delivery-agent. They are both programs that deliver specific
functionality. The only differnce I can see is that an editor may not be
viewed as being as critical to system operations as the other, and Ian has
pointed out that users are likely to be more aware of their needs for an
editor than they are for other dependant programs. I am pretty sure that
we have users who are not this aware, but that is not the basis for my
Ae is in the base package because it was deemed necessary to have an
editor in the system, and ae was small enough to fit. It is this necessity
that is driving the editor virtual package dependance as the proposed
solution. If it is not necessary for the system to contain an editor, then
why is one in the base system? If it is necessary for an editor to be on
the system, it seems desirable to provide protections from the inadvertant
removal of all editors. If there is a better way to insure the existance
of an editor on the system, I would be happy to hear it.
In addition, it is not clear to me that being unnecessary is the same as
undesirable. I can be convinced (no, really!) of either position at this
point. I just need a little more 'splaining.
aka Dale Scheetz Phone: 1 (904) 877-0257
Flexible Software Fax: NONE
Black Creek Critters e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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