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debian fragility

Debian can be rather fragile at times.  At the moment, as
a workaround, we have the predepends mechanism.  However,
this doesn't always work.  For example, I had dselect's
ftp method fail to work because libnet-perl wasn't configured
because data-dumper wasn't installed.

I'm wondering if there can be some way to make sure these
kind of critical dependencies are always provided for.

[I'm not even going to get into this whole thing where
libc5 conflicts with libc5-dev, and many packages depend
on libc5-dev.  That's transient, I know -- but frustrating.]

[I should probably mention, however, that in attempting to
resolve this conflict, using dpkg directly, most of my
important base packages somehow wound up marked for deletion.
This was after using only dpkg -i and dpkg -iGROBE..]

I am perfectly capable of dealing with these kinds of issues,
but I know plenty of people who are not.


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