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Dependencies alert

I'm having a problem with packages that depend on things they
shouldn't. If only a minor component of the package needs some
other package, the Policy Manual says it should recommend the
other package, and not Depend.

For example, I recently filed a bug against python-pil because
it depends on python-tk and it should only recommend it.

python-pil is an image handling library. It can load and
manipulate images. I'm using it in a completely no-X project
being developed in a no-X machine.

But python-pil has as one of its optional components an
interface to Tk, to draw images on a window. My program doesn't
use it, so I don't need python-tk, tk, and xlib.

Now the upstream developers have made this a non-issue, because
the shared library that implements the function is linked to Tk.
It's a mistake, IMHO, but not on the part of the Debian

But the point holds: think twice about your dependencies. If,
for example, your package is a daemon and includes a nice GTK
front-end, it should _NOT_ depend on gtk - either recommend it,
or split the front-end into some other package (this example is
taken from pilrc).

Sorry to use this list, but I think this is getting serious.
We're bloating Debian.

      I am Lalo of deB-org. You will be freed.
                 Resistance is futile.

http://www.webcom.com/lalo      mailto:lalo@webcom.com
                 pgp key in the web page

Debian GNU/Linux       --        http://www.debian.org

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