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Bug#688772: gnome Depends network-manager-gnome

Jordi Mallach writes ("Re: Bug#688772: gnome Depends network-manager-gnome"):
> The Debian GNOME team is well aware of the discussion regarding
> #688772,

Thanks for your mail.  (I have bounced it to the bug report - all
discussions on TC issues should be sent to the bug, rather than
directly to the TC list.)

> multiple connection managers problem
> ====================================
> One of the real issues when NM is a Depend of the meta-packages is that it
> violated the principle of "do no harm" when being installed on a system
> which already has a connection manager (such as wicd or less commonly
> connman). While this is not a problem specific to NM (installing wicd on
> an NM system causes the same problem), the problem is of course triggered
> by the Depend in the gnome meta package.

Right.  I think this is the key problem.

> Solving this issue properly will not only make the biggest issues seen with
> gnome depending on NM go away, but will also improve Debian as a whole, which
> is of course always worthwhile.
> The best solution we can currently propose for this issue is to add some
> maintainer script logic to present a debconf prompt (similar to how we
> currently manage multiple display managers like gdm and kdm which can be
> installed at the same time). To avoid unnecessary debconf prompts, the
> debconf prompt would only be shown if such a "conflict" situation is
> detected.

I believe the difference between Depends and Recommends in gnome is
relevant only for existing systems which do not currently have n-m
installed.  Is that your understanding too ?  Such systems presumably
already have some other mechanism for configuring the network.

On such a system installing n-m and then detecting the conflict and
disabling n-m has some obvious technical disadvantages compared to
simply leaving n-m uninstalled: there is a need for additional
scripting, which may have bugs, and perhaps additional debconf

Presumably you believe there are technical advantages of installing
n-m but disabling it, compared to simply leaving n-m uninstalled.  But
I'm afraid I still don't understand what they are.  Can you please
explain them to me ?

> Michael has done a proof of concept implementation [1] which is one step
> in that direction, by simply having NM provide a prompt when it detects
> that the wicd binary is installed. A more full implemenation would of
> course require modifications to the wicd package (and connman) as well.

I'm assuming that you would intended this for jessie, not wheezy ?


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