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Evil recommends bites perl-5.005

I just upgraded a slink pc to potato, via apt-get dist-upgrade. It went
fine, although I wasn't thrilled that the dhcpcd upgrade disabled my net
connection for most of the processing, but that's livable.

After the upgrade, I had both perl-5.004 and perl-5.005 installed. Cool.
Then I ran dselect and all hell broke loose -- it wants to remove big
chunks of my stuff, include perl-5.005. Uncool.

As near as I can figure out, the problem is that perl-5.005 recommends
perl-5.005-docs. I've currently got p4-docs installed. p4-docs provides
and conflicts with p-docs, as does p5-docs. Now, as all us die-hard
dselect users know, recommends is evil, as it becomes a continuous
battle to prevent recommended packages from being selected. There's an
existing bug against perl-5.005 for this very reason. But in this case,
it's worse than that. Dselect looks at my selections, notices that
p5-docs isn't installed, notices that it can't install because p4-docs
*is* installed, and decides to remove p5, which takes a bunch of perl
modules, which takes a bunch of other stuff. It also takes out debconf,
which takes out libopenldap (which depends on debconf -- why?) which
takes out exim (depends on libopenldap), which takes out another big
chunk that wants an MTA.

It's not just the p4-docs/p5-docs conflict that causes a problem. If I
de-select p4-docs, and then select p5-docs, then de-select p5-docs, it
does the same thing: de-selects p5 as well, which takes a bunch of perl
modules...you know the story by now.

Now of course I can make it happy by installing p5-docs. If it were just
the annoying recommends thing, I would. But this is something a lot of
users are likely to see, and came about as part of a normal upgrade.

Before I report this as a important bug, (I don't think that a package
that tries to remove itself because its docs aren't installed is
"suitable for release" -- maintainer is free to disagree :-)) can
someone else confirm this? You don't need to have a freshly upgraded
system -- de-selecting p5-docs on my development system causes the same

Of course, the real-problem is not perl-5.005 recommending p5-docs:
the real problem is dselect doing weird things -- why on earth does
it try to de-select the "recommender" just becasuse I de-select the
"recommendee"? But dselect isn't going to get fixed before the release,
and just changing the p5 packaging file will fix this problem. Sorry
Darren: you just appear to be the path of least resistance.


Steve Greenland <vmole@swbell.net>
(Please do not CC me on mail sent to this list; I subscribe to and read
every list I post to.)

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