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

Gergely Nagy <algernon@balabit.hu> writes:

> Ian Jackson <ijackson@chiark.greenend.org.uk> writes:
>>  * There is no good reason not to use Recommends (or indeed Suggests)
>>    in a metapackage.
> I'd like to respectfully disagree here - though I've tried to express
> this on debian-devel@ too, apparently, with little success.
> As a user, my expectation is that if I install a *meta* package, then
> the whole platform will be installed, and will be kept installed. That's
> the main reason I install meta packages.

I comprehend you, but to me the difficulty is in defining what "the
whole platform" means and thus where the boundary should lie.  In the
current case, if someone says "I want Gnome", do they really expect that
to include network-manager to the exclusion of all other options, or
might they reasonably expect to be able to use wicd, or something else,
as an alternative? 

> How about a solution suggested earlier on debian-devel@? At least one of
> the Gnome maintainers showed interest in something like this:
>   * Introduce a gnome-minimal (or any other, more suitable name, really)
>     meta package, that depends on a subset of what gnome-core depends
>     now (and which would not include n-m). And gnome-core would depend
>     on this + additional stuff.
> With this, the major complaint (n-m) is solved, policy does not have to
> change, nor do we need to overrule any maintainers.

As a resolution to the specific issue at hand, I think I'd find this
acceptable.  However, it feels like a more disruptive change than just
flipping the Depends in question to Recommends, so I'm not immediately
convinced it's a *better* choice. 


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