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Re: Getting rid of circular dependencies

On Fri, Jun 24, 2005 at 11:36:16AM -0500, Peter Samuelson wrote:
> [Petri Latvala]
> > It is an abuse of the Depends field. foo-data doesn't *need* foo for
> > its own operations. Nothing in -data fails to execute without foo
> > (because there's just data, nothing to execute).
> Depends does not just mean "executables will crash or fail to load".
> It actually means "it is pointless to install this package without this
> other package".  Having a package removed automatically because it no
> longer has any reason to be installed is a perfectly legitimate use for
> "Depends".

No it is not. Read Debian Policy 7.2:

          This declares an absolute dependency.  A package will not be
          configured unless all of the packages listed in its `Depends'
          field have been correctly configured.

          The `Depends' field should be used if the depended-on package is
          required for the depending package to provide a significant
          amount of functionality.

          The `Depends' field should also be used if the `postinst',
          `prerm' or `postrm' scripts require the package to be present in
          order to run.  Note, however, that the `postrm' cannot rely on
          any non-essential packages to be present during the `purge'

If you want to remove useless package, use aptitude debfoster or
deborphan. dpkg will _never_ do it for you. apt-get will try to do it
but at the expense of considerable breakage risk. Bug #310490 show
an example where the risk is to remove every KDE packages.

Bill. <ballombe@debian.org>

Imagine a large red swirl here.

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