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Compile-time optional Features

Hi Everyone,

I'll try to give everyone something else to discuss besides DFSG and
license issues. I've filed two bugs asking maintainers to enable some
compile-time features of packages (or split out the feature-enabled
version into it's own package), bugs #222421 and #231472. In both
cases I provided a patch to enable the feature in a split out package
or enabled in place.

Now neither patch was really rejected out of hand by the maintainers
but both were concerned by feature-creep and having to maintain N^2
packages to support every feature. While I understand this reluctance
to some degree I'm curious what other developers have done in similar
situations? What kind of trade offs do you make between features and
dependency-creep? Do we have an obligation to our users to enable the
features they ask for?

In the case of #222421 especially, I feel Josip is sort of dragging
his feet on the issue. The bug asks to enable ldap support in
maildrop. Since libldap2 is a priority important package, it is almost
certainly installed on the system anyway, so enabling this support
would not bring in any more dependencies. I realize this not a
critical issue, but what do we do when useful feature XYZ is not
included because the maintainer does not deem it important? 

Eric Dorland <eric.dorland@mail.mcgill.ca>
ICQ: #61138586, Jabber: hooty@jabber.com
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