# Re: Conflicting packages not of extra priority.

On Thu, 4 Feb 1999, John Goerzen wrote:

> Policy must not be a collection of the written and the unwritten; we
> must go by what is written. [...]

What is written is just a collection of bytes in a computer file, and as
such it has absolutely no effect; so yes, policy is *not* only what is
written but mainly what it *means*.

Since you want me to quote policy, I will do it, but I have already done
it several times.

2.2 Priorities

Each package is given a certain priority value, which is included in
the package's control record. This information is used in the Debian
package management tool to separate high-priority packages from
less-important packages.

The following priority levels are supported by the Debian package
management system, dpkg.

required
[...]

important
[...]

standard
[...]

optional
[...]

extra
This contains packages that conflict with others with higher
priorities[*], or are only likely to be useful if you already know
what they are or have specialised requirements.

[*] Now the question: This is a review of all the possible package
priorities, and the last priority is extra. This last paragraph mention
packages which have "higher priorities"? Which ones? Obviously, since we
are talking about packages which have extra priority, it refers to all the
other priorities: required, important, standard and optional.

So, extra is where packages which conflict with others with
required, important, standard and optional priorities should go.

There were people who didn't understand this, so I asked the person
who wrote it. Now we know exactly what it means, and more important, the
rationale.

\begin{humour}

Warning: This mail is just another collection of bytes, and as such it has
no value at all either. Do not limit your understanding of this mail
to the bytes it contains. As a hint, I can tell you that it must be
interpreted according to the ascii charset, and then follow the usual
grammar and semantics of the english language. Hope this helps.

\end{humour}

Thanks.

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