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Re: Dependencies on kernel-image-x.y [was: NPTL support in kernel 2.4 series]

On 20050122T161110+0100, Martin Kittel wrote:
> I would like to have some clarification on whether it is sensible to 
> declare a package dependency on kernel-image-x.y (e.g. kernel-image-2.6, 
> _not_ a full kernel version kernel-image-x.y.z)

No, it's not.  The job of a depends relation is to make sure that
another package is installed so that your package can link to the
library it contains, can refer to the files it contains or can execute
binaries it contains.  To make a depends on a kernel worth the while,
you'd need to be able to either link to the kernel, cause the kernel to
run or refer in some other way to the files a kernel package contains.
You can't link to a kernel and you can't cause it to run (except in an
emulator, and I doubt that'd be of any use to you).  And in this
particular case, you are not trying to access files in the kernel
package.  Therefore, a depends relation is not warranted.

> 1) it explicitely and visibly states the dependency that is inherent in 
> the package

The situation here is analoguous to the question whether an X
installation should depend on fonts: such a dependency would document
the dependency on inherent in X, yet we don't do that, because there are
reasonable setups of X where the fonts are provided outside the
packaging system's knowledge.

A Suggests or Recommends brings the same documentation value as a
Depends, and it will not force people to work around a packaging system

> 2) the information the dependency provides is visible _before_ the 
> package is even downloaded

A package description is equally visible.

Antti-Juhani Kaijanaho, Debian developer 


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