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Bug#543256: Make installing recommends optional

On Wednesday 26 August 2009, Don Wright wrote:
> If there are few enough packages needing an "Almost-Always-Depends:"
> field, could this be handled by a dummy package in the Depends: list?
> Something like "Depends: busybox-dummy | busybox" where busybox-dummy
> would not normally be available (and thus skipped) unless proper magic
> was invoked. Or do I misunderstand packaging and installation?  --Don

How would you ensure busybox-dummy is not available? If a user installs 
using a network mirror, then *all* packages are available.
If you reverse the order you'd get what you want: busybox gets installed 
by default, but you'd be able to remove it by installing busybox-dummy 
instead. But then I'd not name it busybox-dummy, but just 'dummy' so that 
other packages could depend on it too for the same purpose.

Or do you mean the user would have to create the busybox-dummy package 
himself? But then he could just as easily create an empty busybox 
replacement package (using 'equivs' for example).

But having empty packages in the archive and creating what remains a bogus 
dependency construction is not exactly my idea of an elegant solution :-)


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