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Re: If *-module depends on *-utils, should *-source recommend it?

On Mon, Jan 10, 2005 at 09:51:54PM -0600, Matthew Dempsky wrote:
> Steve Langasek <vorlon@debian.org> writes:

> > On Mon, Jan 10, 2005 at 05:17:19PM -0600, Matthew Dempsky wrote:
> >> It seems like the common case for wanting to install a kernel module
> >> source package is to build the module and then install it on the same
> >> box.  Since the *-source package doesn't really depend on *-utils, why
> >> not add a Recommends line?

> >> For example, ndiswrapper-source would Recommend ndiswrapper-util,
> >> while ndiswrapper-module-* would Depend on ndiswrapper-util still.
> >> (Similarly for alsa-*, and any other modules.)

> > The build system may not be the same as the system where the package will be
> > installed, or one may be a chroot of the other, in which case this is
> > needless overhead.

> Hence the Recommends instead of Depends.

Recommends means "packages that would be found together with this one in all
but unusual installations".  It is not unusual to have a single designated
build machine in an organization, which may or may not ever have the final
binary packages installed.

> > There is nothing in the -source package that actually requires (or should
> > recommend) the -utils package.

> Sure, nothing requires the -utils package, but does the fact that the
> package it generates depends on -utils not mean the -source package
> should recommend it?

Why?  Installing the -utils package does not make the -source package more
or less useful.  It only makes the -modules package more useful; until you
install the -modules package there isn't actually any use for the -utils
package at all.

> > A much better fix here is for people to get over the fact that dpkg
> > isn't apt.

> Am I confusing them some how?

Not that I can tell, but the root reason people are asking for this
functionality is that they want -utils packages to be installed for them
automatically when they use -modules packages; when getting the support
packages installed is actually quite trivial with even the slightest bit of
advanced planning and/or reading of error messages.  The real irony is that,
with the package in question, automatically pulling in -utils with -source
could cause *more* users' systems to break, because the interface between
ndiswrapper-utils and ndiswrapper-modules has changed several times recently
in ways that were not backwards-compatible: automatically pulling in the
-utils could render the system networkless before you've even started to
*build* the modules...

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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