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Bug#681419: Alternative dependencies on non-free packages in main

On Fri, Jul 13, 2012 at 02:46:48PM -0700, Don Armstrong wrote:
> On Fri, 13 Jul 2012, Russ Allbery wrote:
> > Don Armstrong <don@debian.org> writes:
> > > For example, if foo conflicted with baz, but foo-nonfree did not
> > > and baz was installed, foo-nonfree could be installed in
> > > preference to foo without the user specifically asking for
> > > foo-nonfree.
> > 
> > It seems like it would be difficult for the person adding the
> > alternative dependency to know whether this is the case, and it
> > could change later without any changes to the package that has the
> > dependency.

> I believe they could know at the point they added the dependency, but
> it could certainly change at some point later in time. That'd just
> result in a bug when it was found.

I think I'm in agreement with this position, at least until another better
argument comes along.

At minimum, I agree that it would be a serious bug if installing a package
in main ever resulted in a non-free package being installed as a dependency;
and I'm generally happy to have this implemented any which way, with the
maintainers of the related packages sorting out among them what the right
way is to fix/avoid such a bug.

> A possible compromise would be to only allow this kind of alternative
> dependency on non-free packages which do not have usage restrictions.

I don't think that's a reasonable line to draw here, since the entire point
of the exercise that if a user has already installed a piece of non-free
software that satisfies the logical dependency, they should not have to
install another free package to satisfy the annotated dependency.  This
applies regardless of what kind of non-free it is.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

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