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

Peter S Galbraith <GalbraithP@dfo-mpo.gc.ca> wrote:

>   When selecting which level of dependency to use you should consider
>   how important the depended-on package is to the functionality of
>   the one declaring the dependency. Some packages are composed of
>   components of varying degrees of importance. Such a package should
>   list using Depends the package(s) which are required by the more
>   important components. The other components' requirements may be
>   mentioned as Suggestions or Recommendations, as appropriate to the
>   components' relative importance.
> Note that the above says nothing about a dependency which would
> force something into contrib.  Perhaps this sounds harsh, but would
> Michael _not_ have downgraded the libforms dependency to `suggests' if
> libforms had been in main instead of non-free?

I assume that you are really referring to me and not Michael, since I 
am the maintainer of pcmcia-cs.  (Michael was simply expressing his 
opinion.)  Yes, I would have used "Suggests," and for the same reason 
that fetchmail "Suggests" python.  The executable that requires the 
other package is an extra feature and contributes nothing to the 
essential operation of the package.

"Recommends" is entirely inappropriate.  Using this dependency would 
imply that pcmcia-cs is rarely found without X (or at least the X 
libraries, since cardinfo also requires the xlib6g package).

> This means that he's correct and that what I always thought about
> Debian packages is false:  Dependency _don't_ guarantee that every
> installed binary will work.

Yes.  And this is the source of the current confusion.


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