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

Steve Langasek <vorlon@debian.org> writes:

> 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.

Depends on how you interpret usual -- if one were to compare a couple
of build daemons running on specially hosted boxes in large
corporations versus the large number of debian developers along with
regular users compiling modules for their personal usage, it would
seem the dedicated build machine use /is/ unusual.

(This is a bit of speculation though because I don't really know any
statistics on common Debian usage especially in businesses.)

But even then, it seems like a moot point: if you have a dedicated
machine to build alsa-modules for all of your company boxes, will it
hurt for it to possibly install alsa-utils as well?  AFAIK, a
Recommends wouldn't even necessitate alsa-utils installation, and if
it *were* to cause any problems the admin could simply mark for it to
not install.

> 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.

And so you don't have to install the -utils.

> 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...

If a new version of ndiswrapper-utils is not backwards-compatible with
an old version of ndiswrapper-modules, shouldn't it declare a
versioned Conflicts with those older versions or else when you try to
upgrade you'll have problems regardless if ndiswrapper-source declared
a Recommends on ndiswrapper-utils?

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