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Re: New Target-Depends control field?

On Sunday 08 January 2006 11:39, Colin Watson wrote:
> Does anyone else think this would be useful? If so, I can put some
> effort into implementing it.

I have tried giving this some thought, but I'm afraid thinking through the 
implications is rather over my head.

My first reaction is that formalizing dependencies like this will make 
backward support of previous releases even harder than it already is, 
although it may be needed if automatic udeb propagation is implemented.

Most of the time we lag behind changes in regular packages though. I think 
the recent flurry of changes around pkgsel, debconf and tasksel is 
probably an exception.

Also, if you want to keep backward support for installing older releases, 
just failing is not really what you'd want. Instead, you'd want to be 
able to select an alternative path in the installer if a package is not 
available in /target (as in the case of Sarge and the initramfs 
generators) or if the version implementing new features is not available 
in /target. Or maybe you want to completely disable a udeb if some 
functionality is not supported in target and use a different one instead.

I do agree though that recent changes in d-i have made the dependency 
between udebs and packages in /target greater than before and we very 
much need to keep backward compatibility in mind when making changes in 
anything from base-installer onward.

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