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Re: Bug#30739: When a tiny part of a package uses non-free libraries

brian@debian.org (Brian Mays) writes:

> "Christian T. Steigies" <steigies@physik.uni-kiel.de> wrote:
> > ... I have it installed on a notebook recently and started to play
> > with a pcmcia modem card. Started cardinfo and only got the message
> > of a missing library. This is very confusing, I was about to file a
> > bug...  When I've set up the hamm system (with apt) I did not much
> > care about recommends. Sometimes I install what is recommended,
> > sometimes not. But I find it very confusing to have a program
> > installed, which does not work because of a missing library. Once you
> > have it installed, there is no such message:
> > "but I told you, libraryxyz is recommended, no see what you've done!"
> If this is confusing, the description of the pcmcia-cs package should be
> modified to indicate that the libforms package is required by cardinfo.

Nope.  This isn't good enough.  One of the wonderful things about
Debian is that installation of a package includes installation of any
needed libraries.  The average user *never* needs to install a library 
by itself.  We should keep those standards.  I like cardinfo, but I
would still use cardinfo if it were in contrib.

I also recently installed Debian on a new laptop.  I was confused
about libforms not being installed even though cardinfo was there.  Of 
course, I could figure out what to do.  Adding documentation in the
description is not good enough.  You shouldn't have to read the
documentation install a library, especially when we have tools smart
enough to make this automatic.  See _The Design of Everyday Things_,
by Norman.

Kevin Dalley

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