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Re: Bug#896698: deprecating needs-recommends

On Sat, 15 Sep 2018 15:40:33 +0200, Michael Biebl wrote:

> On Thu, 30 Aug 2018 12:03:31 +0200 Paul Gevers <elbrus@debian.org> wrote:
> > I have just pushed commit 9fade8dcb501250f704da9c77af1f8e6165dc941 that
> > documents that we want to remove the needs-recommends option as we
> > discussed in https://lists.debian.org/debian-ci/2018/06/msg00016.html.
> So I have this specific case where I found needs-recommends quite
> convenient:
> I have a package (firewalld) which has optional dependencies like ipset
> or ebtables. If those are not installed, firewalld will log a warning
> and continue with the functionality disabled.

We're also using needs-recommends for perl packages / in

% autodep8
Test-Command: /usr/share/pkg-perl-autopkgtest/runner build-deps
Depends: @, @builddeps@, pkg-perl-autopkgtest

Test-Command: /usr/share/pkg-perl-autopkgtest/runner runtime-deps
Depends: @, pkg-perl-autopkgtest

Test-Command: /usr/share/pkg-perl-autopkgtest/runner runtime-deps-and-recommends
Depends: @, pkg-perl-autopkgtest
Restrictions: needs-recommends

In practice, there's currently one test in the
"runtime-deps-and-recommends" department: syntax.t which, among other
things, does `perl -wc <perl module file>' and is helpful to detect
syntax errors in code which is not used during build tests.
Cf. also https://perl-team.pages.debian.net/autopkgtest.html#syntax.t

The reason we need the packages in Recommends is quite simple: there
are often modules in packages which are no core functionality, hence
their dependencies are not in Depends but in Recommends.

Without needs-recommends we would
- need to exclude them from syntax.t (the machinery exists but it's
  quite some work)
- lose the ability to test them.

So if needs-recommends vanishes, there will be at least dozens if not
hundreds of perl packages which will immediately fail their

(josch's count of 154 affected packages in
fails to take all the autodep8 packages into account.)


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