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Re: Problem with dependency handling in debian (driving me crazy!)

Steve Greenland wrote:

On 26-Jun-04, 09:34 (CDT), Jos? Ildefonso Camargo Tolosa <icamargo@merkurio.com.ve> wrote:
+ There should not be "hard" conflicts between packages wich provides the same service, for example: If I'm deciding wich MTA use (exim, postfix, qmail, any other compiled from source code), I can only install one of them at the time, no matter that there are not files conflicting between them, I should be able to install all of them, if I wanted to, and only enable one at the time (and anyway, what if I want to have three of them on different ports?, it should be my problem, off course, there should be a warning (to save us from newbies on *nix systems)).

To "save us from newbies" is *exactly* why the conflict exists. It's not
just a matter of using the same files (/usr/sbin/sendmail), there's port
I said: different ports.

issues, there's spool file issues, etc. It's been discussed extensively,
and the general conclusion has been that anyone who has the need and
knowledge to run multiple mail servers or ftp servers or whatever also
has the knowledge to build the packages from source and configure them
The knowledge: yes, maybe the time not: I have better things to do than pass my time fighting with the package system, just to "convince" it to let me do what I need to do, without turning my system apart (read on).

by hand. In particular, writing the appropriate scripts to guide a
newbie[1] through configuring an MTA is hard enough; doing it in such a
Really, really hard.

way as to deal with multiple MTAs is likely to be confusing, buggy, and
most importantly not really what the user needs anyway: the reasons for
running multiple MTAs are so rare and unique that doing it by hand is
probably more convenient than working around maintainer scripts.
The thing is: I have to leave some MTA installed in order to install my own, just to make sure other packages doesn't break as well (if I remove all the MTAs in order to install my own from source, there are other packages wich would break, so, I have to leave at least one installed). One common issue: qmail, it is distributed in the form of a src package, and have a build script wich "automagically" creates the package, and even install it, but due that I had to leave another MTA installed (to keep other packages from breaking), it just doesn't install, so I have to "force" install it, wich is rather unconfortable, and I don't think that it is the way it should be. Additionally, after I force install it, next time I dare to use aptitude, it will try to remove it!.

Anyway, all that I'm asking to be discussed is the possibility of "an option" in aptitude/dselect wich allows one to just bypass the dependency handling (something like ignoring conflicts between packages wich have the same functionality).

Some time ago (just when Debian Woody became stable) I stopped using Debian because of the package system (I stopped using RedHat because of a LOT bugs, same with Madrake), so, I went back to Slackware (after almost 10 years since the last time I used it). I switched back to Debian now, because I needed a PAM based system, and after this long I see not much improbement on the package system: It still refuse to obey me, and if it does, it refuse to be "helpfull" anymore.

I really like Debian because: It it more stable than many others even in the "unstable" branch (wich is what I use), It mantains ports for many plataforms. But that @#$% package managment system is really bothering me.


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