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Re: New virtual package names.

Dale Scheetz writes ("Re: New virtual package names. "):
> On Wed, 21 Aug 1996, Ian Jackson wrote:
> > I can't prove that it's needless.  You're shifting the burden of
> > proof.  It's up to you to show that it's needed.
> The burden I am trying to shift onto your shoulders is for you to have
> read the complete thread of this discussion. It is not clear that you have
> done so. You declared the needlessness but gave no explanation of why this
> was so.

Suppose that I were to declare that it is necessary for dpkg to be
able to read mail.  How would you refute my declaration of this
necessity ?  You can't.  Instead, you would ask me to justify this

When the question is being discussed as to whether something is
necessary or not the burden of proof must fall on those who claim that
it is.  By default - in the absence of any reason not to think so -
a thing should be assumed not to be necessary.

> The rest of us, as a group, have discussed this, at some length, and come
> to the conclusion that the editor virtual package name was a viable
> solution. As a late arrival to this discussion it is your responsibility
> to have, at least, read the complete discussion, and speak to the points
> raised and settled there. Blanket assertions without supporting arguments
> are neither constructive, nor informative.

I have read all of the discussion.  Just because I'm a week behind on
my email doesn't mean I'm not reading it.

However, since you seemed so insistent, I went back and had a look at
what arguments people might have presented.

I found a rather limited amount of discussion.  It did not appear to
me to have reached a definite conclusion.  The virtual package got
added by the maintainer of the list because noone objected in time.

The only one I could find was based on the idea that in order for it
to be safe to remove the `Essential' flag from `ae' it would be
necessary to use the dependency mechanism to stop people from
deinstalling it before they install another editor.

This didn't seem to be stated explicitly in this form, but it was
clear that people were seeing the idea of an `editor' virtual package
as an alternative to marking `ae' essential.

I don't see that this is a true case of alternative solutions to a
problem: I don't think there is a problem, and I think that it would
be just fine for `ae' not to be essential and for nothing to depend
on it.


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