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Bug#681834: network-manager, gnome, Recommends vs Depends

Ian Jackson <ijackson@chiark.greenend.org.uk> writes:

> The argument about the dependency from gnome-core to network-manager
> has now reached the TC. 

FWIW, I use network-manager with xfce4 on my notebook, and with suitable
configuration find it an acceptable solution for my needs.

As a matter of policy, though, it seems completely unreasonable to me
for a desktop environment to impose a hard decision on something like
network attachment and configuration where there are multiple workable
alternatives in Debian that users might reasonably expect to be able to
exercise personal preference on.

> So I would propose that we:
>  * Clarify our view that the normal rules for deciding dependency
>    priorities apply to meta packages too;


>  * Require no change to policy;


>  * Overrule the maintainer of gnome-core, requiring that the
>    dependency on network-manager be changed to Recommends;

That would work.  

I believe our goal should be to require that there not be a hard Depends
relationship.  I would be equally satisfied if the dependency were just
dropped, or if it were possible to craft a suitable "or" list of
alternatives that network-manager could be the first choice of the
maintainer among.  I have not followed the discussion closely enough or
independently studied this situation in sufficient detail to know if
this is possible, however.

>  * Advise the release managers that we would prefer this change to be
>    made in wheezy, provided it is uploaded promptly.



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