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

Ian Jackson writes ("Re: Bug#681834: network-manager, gnome, Recommends vs Depends"):
> I agree with almost all of this.  It's a good analysis.

I have taken the liberty of making a version of it with the small
changes that I thought were appropriate.

I've done this in the tech-ctte.git repo so you if you pull can see
the diffs.  Below is the full text of my revised proposal.

I've left my original proposal, and the original version of yours, in
the git repo too, as it didn't seem right to just appropriate yours
and make the changes off my own bat.

Here is a discussion of the substantive changes:

> Russ Allbery writes:
> >                                                   This change is, so far
> >     as the Technical Committee understands, driven primarily by user
> >     confusion and bug reports, but does not reflect a deeper or tighter
> >     integration of network-manager into GNOME than was the case in
> >     squeeze.
> As I say I don't think there is any significant evidence of this.
> I'm not happy with this statement in the absence of evidence (whether
> in the form of bug reports or mailing list postings or whatever) from
> users who are _actually confused_.

I've simply removed that part of the assertion in my version of your
proposal, leaving the part of about "deeper or tighter integration".

> So I agree with most of your reasoning but I think your conclusion
> needs to be a little stronger.  I would say:
> >                                               We therefore believe that
> >     network-manager should be moved to Recommends in gnome-core.

Done in my version of your draft.

> And you haven't addressed the question of whether this should be done
> in wheezy.

I have added a "wheras" and added a new "therefore" section containing
the two concluding paragraphs from my draft, to make it clear exactly
what the effect of the resolution is.

So here's my proposal.  I would be happy with this as a TC
resolution, although it's quite wordy.


 1. The gnome-core metapackage is intended to reflect the core of the
    GNOME desktop environment: the basic tools and subsystems that
    together constitute GNOME.  The gnome metapackage is intended to
    reflect the broader desktop environment, including extra components
    and applications.

 2. network-manager is the GNOME network control system, and is
    recommended for most GNOME users.  Some Debian GNOME users don't like
    some of network-manager's behavior and prefer to instead use other
    tools, either basic ifupdown or other frameworks such as wicd.

 3. In squeeze, the gnome metapackage lists network-manager in Recommends
    but not Depends.  In wheezy, currently, network-manager has moved from
    gnome to gnome-core, and from Recommends to Depends.  This represents
    a substantially increased insistance that users of the GNOME
    metapackages have network-manager installed.  This change does
    not reflect, so far as the Technical Committee understands, a
    deeper or tighter integration of network-manager into GNOME than
    was the case in squeeze.

 4. If matters are left as they currently stand, users who have the gnome
    metapackages installed but do not have network-manager installed will,
    in the process of upgrading from squeeze to wheezy (either due to an
    explicit decision to remove it or an implicit decision to not install
    it by disabling automatic installation of Recommends), end up
    installing network-manager on systems where it is currently not
    installed.  It will also no longer be possible for users to install
    GNOME metapackages in wheezy without installing network-manager.

 5. For most applications and components, the only drawback of this would
    be some additional disk space usage, since the application, despite
    being installed, wouldn't need to be used.  However, network-manager
    assumes that, if it is installed, it should attempt to manage the
    system's network configuration.  It attempts to avoid overriding local
    manual configuration, but it isn't able to detect all cases where the
    user is using some other component or system to manage networking.
    The user has to take separate, explicit (and somewhat unusual for the
    average user) action to disable network-manager after it has been

 6. The Technical Committee believes that this will cause undesireable
    behavior for upgrades from squeeze, and (of somewhat lesser
    importance) will make it more difficult than necessary for GNOME users
    to swap network management components, something for which there
    appears to be noticable demand.  We therefore believe that
    network-manager should be moved to Recommends in gnome-core.

 7. Please note that this is not a general statement about GNOME
    components.  It is very specific to network-manager because all of the
    following apply:

    (i) The package takes action automatically because it is installed,
       rather than being a component that can either be run or not at the
       user's choice.

    (ii) The package has historically been recommended rather than listed as
       a dependency, so existing Debian users are used to that behavior.

    (ii) There is both demonstrable, intentional widespread replacement of
       that package by Debian GNOME users and no significant loss of
       unrelated GNOME desktop functionality by replacing it with a
       different component.

 8. If any of these points did not apply, the situation would be
    significantly different.


 9. The Technical Committee overrules the decision of the gnome-core
     metapackage maintainers.  The dependency from gnome-core to
     network-manager-gnome should be downgraded to Recommends.

 10. The Technical Committee requests that the Release Managers
     unblock the update to implement this decision, so that this
     change may be released in wheezy.


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