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Re: Please notify the maintainers when removing packages

On Wed, May 14, 2003 at 01:33:00PM +0200, Matthias Urlichs wrote:
> Hi, Richard Braakman wrote:
> > On Thu, May 08, 2003 at 11:15:44PM +0200, Matthias Urlichs wrote:
> >> They will complain about Debian, not about their package's
> >> maintainer, when they upgrade to Sarge and the program they've been
> >> using is irretrievably auto-deinstalled.  :-(
> > 
> > Does this happen a lot?  Both apt and dselect are very polite about
> > not removing my packages.  What tool do you use?
> The update to sarge will remove a whole lot of pachages because newer,
> differently-named packages replace them. Examples: coreutils.

fileutils, shellutils, and textutils are still present and not
conflicted with. My understanding is that they will still be there in

> The fact that one of the programs which you use daily, but have
> almost-forgotten the .deb name of, is among the lot of them may well
> get lost. After all, apt-get doesn't distinguish, if packages are
> removed because of missing dependencies, between those which have been
> Replaces:'d and those that haven't.

Replaces: is frequently misunderstood. On its own (without Conflicts:),
it does *not* mean that the whole target package has been superseded,
and certainly does not mean that it will be automatically removed on

Furthermore, apt will tell you before removing packages, unless you have
deliberately configured it otherwise. Anyone who ignores this is unwise
at best.

In addition, we are talking about packages being removed from the
archive and you suddenly brought up packages being automatically
uninstalled from people's systems. These two events are not directly
related. The fact that a package is no longer available in the archive
does *not* imply that it will be automatically removed, and in the
majority of cases (C++ is unfortunately pathological) packages from
woody will continue to work on sarge.

In short, I don't think packages are automatically removed from people's
systems as easily as you think.

Colin Watson                                  [cjwatson@flatline.org.uk]

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