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Re: Package splitting and upgrades

On Fri, Mar 01, 2002 at 11:15:45AM +0100, Santiago Vila wrote:
> When a package `foo' in potato is split in two for woody, `foo' and `bar',
> it is considered acceptable that people upgrading from potato to woody
> lose the functionality provided by `bar' and have to read the release
> notes to know why? What if there are a lot of splits like this and the
> release notes becomes several kilometers long? Is this the type of
> quality we want for our users?

Nobody ever said major version upgrades would be smooth.

> I think the only method which is fool-proof (using either apt or dselect)
> is to make `foo' to depend on `bar' under woody as a temporary measure,
> and drop the dependency in woody+1, but some people consider this a gratuitous
> dependency.

That'll net you a bug for abuse of Depends. It is not a dependency,
the package will run fine without it; what's more, it will probably
cause something to break later when a _real_ dependency or conflict
causes one or more of the packages to become impossible to
install. Recommends (if usually used together) or Suggests (if usually
discrete) would be sensible relations to use here.

Note that there are no fool-proof solutions. There is always some
idiot using --force-* options, or other ways of bypassing/breaking the
package relationship system.

Further note that people using apt-get do not care about complex
package interrelations and are willing to fix things by hand, tracking
down individual packages that they need and installing them. (That is
what it means to use the back-end tools manually). Ditto for dpkg
-iGROEB users.

  .''`.  ** Debian GNU/Linux ** | Andrew Suffield
 : :' :  http://www.debian.org/ | Dept. of Computing,
 `. `'                          | Imperial College,
   `-             -><-          | London, UK

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