[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: just wondering...

Edward S Peschko <esp5@pge.com> writes:

> I surmised that the Binary tag was generated from source packages - my
> question is, why the complexity? Why bother with having multiple
> synonyms for the same package?  Why not just have a source package name?

Because people don't want to install all of the packages that are
generated by a particular source package.  In particular, it is very
common to want to install *only* the shared library, not any of the
supporting utilities, header files, or static libraries, because you don't
actually care about that package, just about some other package that
happens to use its library.

> Example: perl generates

> perl-doc
> perl-suid
> libcgi-fast-perl
> perl-debug
> libperl5.6
> libperl-dev
> perl-modules
> perl-base

> and perl.

> I sincerely doubt that any of these 'subpackages' could function
> separately from each other.

You would be sincerely wrong, then, I'm afraid.

Take a look at the dependencies for those packages.  You'll see that some
of them aren't required at all for everything else to run, like perl-doc
or perl-suid.  Indeed, looking at my system, I don't have perl-suid,
perl-debug, or libcgi-fast-perl installed, despite the fact that I work
extensively with Perl and even contribute to Perl core modules.  I
definitely do not *want* perl-suid installed, since I don't use setuid
Perl scripts and have no interest in installing any setuid programs that I
don't actually need.

Russ Allbery (rra@stanford.edu)             <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

Reply to: