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Re: Bug#202869: Should MUA only Recommend mail-transfer-agent?

> I can imagine a workstation without those packages but it is, IMO,
> mutilated box.

please keep your opinion outside the control file.
cron, at & friends __need__ an MTA (or to be exact:
a /usr/sbin/sendmail app), they will not work without.

mutt can do many nice things without /usr/sbin/sendmail.
a dependency is set if something is always required,
a recommends if is required for the common use, and
a suggestion is used if it improved the functionality.
so depending on mail-transport-agent is wrong,
the recommendation is fine.

or fix the policy to make a clear statement.
in that case maybe you want to reassign the bug.

> BTW, there is no need for exim4-daemon-heavy. There are other lightweight
> MTA's.

I know. but still the dependency dialog is confusing and allmost
all MTA even if not configure add poisen to a clean system
like useless cron jobs, logfile rotation etc.

an unused library only takes up a few inodes and kilobytes
of disk ram and thus is easy to bear. an unused MTA however
is quite a heavy thing compared to that. take a look
at all those silly debconf questions some packages have,
and you know why it is a good thing not to install one
on a system where you don't need it.

> Another solution is to prepare a dummy-mta package, which only
> provides mail-transfer-agent and required by policy /usr/sbin/sendmail
> and /usr/bin/newaliases binaries to do nothing[1].

sounds like shooting in ones foot to me.

If debian has one major policy, it is not to have a policy.
debian does not decide what architecture or window manager
or mail transport agent your want - you can choose. debian
does not decide whether you want a small systme or a big
fat installation - you can choose.

why should debian insist on installing a mail transport
agent where none is needed? and the easy solution is
to relax the dependency to a recommendation. The policy
supports this. Not that the wording in the policy is perfekt,
it could be improved (see my suggestion above) to support
the recommendation or to deny this bug report and put
an explicit dependency in the policy.

sure, this bug report is bigger than mutt, it will affect
many other mail readers and apps everywhere as well.

closing the bug or marking it as whishlist would be wrong.
debian claims not to hide problem. here is one. please 
accept it and handle it. 

Regards, Andreas

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