Bug#639290: upgrade from squeeze to wheezy fails on i386 (pre-depends loop)
David Kalnischkies wrote:
> APT for example (that it keeps working is because it treats itself special),
> a texteditor or even something as simple as an internet connection…
Does upgrading these without immediately configuring break any of them?
If so, that's a (pretty severe) bug. (However, I don't mean to say
the idea of immediate configuration is not good for other reasons. On
the contrary, I think it's good, especially as modified by the gsoc
project you mention if I understand correctly.)
> Anyway arguing with the policy is a bit strange as APT isn't violating
> the policy by applying a stricter view by default on a problem.
> The policy defines the minimum - that is relatively easy to implement.
> The problem is through that every small packaging bug can bring you
> into a completely broken system state then…
I think you misunderstood. Policy documents the meaning of dependency
fields, package maintainer scripts, and so on, not as a specification
of how dpkg and APT work (though it can sometimes vaguely approximate
one), but as documentation for the technical requirements on Debian
packages that use those facilities. Let's say a new package manager
came along and started ensuring that all dependencies are satisfied at
unpack time --- that is, all Depends are promoted to Pre-Depends.
Absurd, right? But it would not be hurting what packages can rely on
by declaring a Depends relation, so it seems kosher wrt policy, right?
And in fact such a package manager would probably be fine, _except_
that relationships that were previously satisfiable (e.g., dependency
loops) would no longer be satisfiable. Maybe we don't want to support
dependency loops anyway; that could be proposed as a new policy
change. Until then, breaking previously working packages without
documenting the new requirements would be harmful and I don't think
it's unreasonable to call such a change problematic.
Of course the immediate-configure bit is both older and less drastic
than that. Nevertheless it is a bug either in APT or in policy that
this creates a technical requirement on Debian packages that packagers
would have no easy way to learn about.
Luckily you seem to have said there is a fix in the pipeline, so... :)
Hope that helps,