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Re: Bug#140183: aspell does install or depend on any languages

[ I origonally installed aspell with apt-get install aspell, and it
  didn't work for me. After finding the aspell-en package, which made
  it work, I filed a grave bug because, in my view, aspell unusable or
  at least mostly so. http://bugs.debian.org/140183 for the full story,
  of course.

  With Domenico's permission, I am bringing this to devel because we
  don't agree, and I'd like to ask the community's oppinion. ]

On Fri, 2002-03-29 at 07:18, Domenico Andreoli wrote:

> BZZZ.. wrong. it is used to generate new word lists. for this process
> dictionaries are not required at all. this is the way dictionary
> packagers use it. why it should strictly depend on a dictionary? why
> autobuilder would need to install a dictionary in order to build
> aspell-fr or aspell-pt or aspell-da?

Because aspell is a spelling checker. To quote the description:

"Description: A more intelligent replacement for the ispell spell
 Aspell is an interactive spell checker that is designed to eventually
 replace ispell.  It does a much better job of coming up with possible
 suggestions than ispell (and in some cases even Microsoft Word 97's
 spell checker).  It also has run time support for other non English
 languages. aspell can learn from users misspellings."

Policy says, under Depends, "The Depends field should be used if the
depended-on package is required for the depending package to provide a
significant amount of functionality."

I argue that checking spelling is a 'significant amount of
functionality' for a spell checker. I believe we agree that dictionaries
are needed for that function ;-)

> anyway Depends breaks even more because dictionary packages already
> depend on libaspell10, making libaspell10 depending on any dictionary
> makes a loop in dependencies. please look at bugs #126594, #131290 and
> aspell changelog.

Quite unfortunate that dependencies only are for configuration, not to
force alongside installation. 

I'd argue that aspell depending on the dictionaries is better than the
dictionaries on the library. The dictionaries could then Recommend: the
spell checker.

[ Yeh, apt, dpkg, and friends should have a Co-Depends: or something
  like that. But they don't. Can't fix them, yet. ]

> if this bug is so critical for you i think that should be addressed to
> apt or to those that wrote the woody release notes.

If aspell was in potato (don't remember), and was split sometime since
then, then it should be release noted. We agree here.

> this is not a RC bug, aspell works perfectly upon upgrade made with
> the right tools. it is apt-get to be broken! see bugs #42266 and #54461.

Well, yeh, but we can't do major changes to apt until after woody. We
have to make do until then.

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