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

Tollef Fog Heen <tfheen@err.no> writes:

> Am I understanding you correctly in that your answer is «A Recommends
> can never be upgraded to a Depends for a metapackage»?

> (Essentially the same question as I asked beforehand, but where I've
> specified I'm only talking about metapackages.)

I think it depends on the purpose of the metapackage.  I can think of
examples where a previously-optional component of some large system
becomes more central in such a way that the whole system will not function
properly as a unified whole without that component.  In that case,
upgrading from Recommends to Depends seems warranted.

Consider, for example, this manufactured example: a desktop environment
has an optional bus architecture that's used for interprocess
communication among its components, but also has other mechanisms for
those systems to communicate, so this bus architecture isn't required.
Then, upstream standardizes on the new bus architecture and throws out all
of the other methods.  At that point, the infrastructure components of the
bus architecture should go from Recommends to Depends, since without them
the individual components function but don't form a cooperating, unified
desktop environment, which is the point of the metapackage.

I think what's bothering us on the tech-ctte is that network-manager does
not appear to be that sort of case.  The importance of network-manager to
GNOME doesn't seem to have increased substantially; it continues to be a
recommended but not required component that can be swapped out with other
tools without making the desktop environment itself unusable.

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

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