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

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

> Do we know what proportion of the existing references out of main into
> non-free/contrib could be done this way ?

I'm not sure; we'd have to check.  However, it seems like it should handle
all of them except any that would need a versioned dependency.

> That would at least solve the problem where we put
>    Recommends: ... | bar-nonfree ...
> in the metadata, which I think is arguably a problem in itself.  It's
> difficult to argue that that doesn't constitute a recommendation of
> bar-nonfree.

> Would we also want to do something to avoid the package managers
> complaining about nonexistent virtual packages ?  I guess they are
> already happy to ignore references to unprovided virtual packages, and
> nonexistent packages in general, since they are a common approach for
> transitions and often remain (beneficially) in the dependencies for
> years afterwards.

The only dependencies on non-free from main right now are in the form of
an alternative between a free package and a non-free package (or are
serious bugs), I believe.  So I don't think any of the virtual packages
would be non-existent, since the free package would always provide that
virtual package, no?

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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