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Re: when and why did python(-minimal) become essential?

On Thu, 2006-01-19 at 12:12 +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> debian-python Cc'ed
> On Wed, Jan 18, 2006 at 07:02:32PM -0600, Joe Wreschnig wrote:
> > > This is something that Python upstream explicitly does not want; the only
> > > reason for creating python-minimal was so that it could be Essential: yes,
> > > not to support stripped-down Python installations.
> > So why does Debian need/want python-minimal?
> > (This is a question mostly for Matthias, I think, but if you know the
> > answer that's great.)
> Some reasons:
>   * compatability with Ubuntu -- so that packages can be easily ported back
>     and forth between us and them; I expect most of the work ubuntu might do
>     on improving boot up will require python-minimal

This would be nice. Right now it's accomplished through patches Ubuntu
makes to dh_python and cdbs. They'd probably like to drop those.

>   * allowing us to easily use python (as well as C, C++ and perl) for programs
>     in the base system

I wouldn't mind this, but it does seem to be somewhat against the
definition of "base."

>   * allowing us to provide python early on installs to make users happier

This feels weak to me; it applies equally well to any language a user
might want.

> I don't know what's actually in (or more importantly not in)
> python2.4-minimal though.

I'm eyeballing right now. Things that jump out at me:
 * No character encoding, translation, or locale handling.
 * A little oddly, loss of shutil.
 * No sockets.

The first one seems like it would be a show-stopper to me, unless we
expect programs in the base system to only deal with ASCII. This is a
fairly large addition to package, too.

The second can easily be fixed; possibly just oversight. It's a small
module and gives Python equivalents of cp -r, rm -r, and mv.

The third seems like something software in base may want to do; I
mention it specifically because perl-base include socket support.
Joe Wreschnig <piman@debian.org>

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