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Re: [DEBIAN] Why does sendmail depend on procmail?

From: "Eloy A. Paris" <eparis@ven.ra.rockwell.com>

>Manoj Srivastava <srivasta@datasync.com> wrote:
>: 	We should have both, and let sendmail depend on a virtual
>:  package, and people may make their own choices.
>I agree, I agree with every word said by Manoj. He doesn't want
>procmail installed in his system becaus he likes the deliver+mailagent
>combination but I like procmail for both delivering and filtering.
>I don't want deliver in my system because I don't use it at all.
>So what do we do now? What a virual package???

I think someone else mentioned a while ago that sendmail would have to
be reconfigured when deliver and procmail were swapped.  (That is, if
sendmail and deliver are installed, and you then install procmail and
remove deliver.)

I was thinking about this while trying to work out how to package
gspreview, which requires the ghostscript startup files to be patched.
I came up with two possibilities.

The first is to modify the packaging system to understand a new kind
of dependancy called "Config-depends:".  This would mean that when the
Config-depended package changed, either a version change (up/downgrade)
or when a different package was installed providing the virtual package,
the Config-depending package would be reconfigured.  However, I now
think this would be too hard to get right.

The other way would be to produce "adaptor" packages.  For example,
gspreview depends on gspreview-patched-gs.  gs-patcher3.33
provides gspreview-patched-gs and depends on gs (= 3.33).  It can
patch gs-3.33's startup files and put them in the right place.
Now, when gs moves up to version 4.0, we create a gs-patcher4.0,
also providing gspreview-patched-gs and depending on gs (= 4.0).
Then each of the "patcher" packages adapts one version of gs to fit
the gspreview-patched-gs dependancy.  The idea is that when gs is
upgraded, gs-patcher3.33 is removed, and gs-patcher4.0 is installed.
dpkg's auto-deconfigure option should allow gspreview to be deconfigured
and reconfigured when this happens.

I haven't tried this, however.  Anyone know if it would work?  If it
does, it might be possible to do something similar with sendmail and
its delivery agents...

Actually, now I've written this all down, it looks a bit implausible
to me...  What do you think?

--Charles Briscoe-Smith
White pages entry, with PGP key: <URL:http://alethea.ukc.ac.uk/wp?95cpb4>
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