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Re: Meta pkgs in debian

On Sun, Jan 22, 2006 at 20:31:53 -0500, Ed Sweetman wrote:
Ok, i'm not subscribed here so please cc me any responses directly.

Before I propose my suggestion I want to outline my issues with how meta pkgs are done currently.


The problem #2: Meta pkgs in debian are one way. Removing a meta pkg doesn't remove or even check for the pkgs it installed to see if they are no longer dependent on anything or ask the user if they want to remove them. Because of problem #1, removing a meta pkg isn't even

Aptitude does this per default.

So does debfoster, but how can aptitude remove the meta package, and
attempt to remove all the pkgs that were installed because of it, when
you removed one of those pkgs yourself before and that caused the pkg
manager to remove the meta pkg.

say you installed mymetapkg. mymetapkg installs something the maintainer thought was really useful to it, but not interdependent with the rest of the pkgs. Now you decide you dont want that nifty pkg that got installed when you installed mymetapkg, you remove it. pkg manager removes the pkg "mymetapkg" too because it depends on that nifty other pkg. Now a while later you decide you dont want mymetapkg because you hate it or whatever, now what do you do? Reinstall the mymetapkg pkg to remove it? Using the Suggests field instead of Depends ensures this is never a problem. It fixes every issue there is with having meta pkgs use dependencies to get the other pkgs installed, without any drawbacks.

aptitude can't do this. so saying this is something aptitude can do is completely wrong. If the pkg isn't installed, aptitude doesn't respond with any action when asked to remove it.

It just doesn't make as much sense to use depends than suggests.. aptitude already supports installing/retrieving via suggests, removing those installed real pkgs wouldn't remove the meta pkg with suggests, where as in depends it does. This makes removal of the meta pkg possible (and it's installed pkgs) a much more straightforward and logical process later on, no regexps or state juggling or black magic is required. only the "simple" feature of removing suggested pkgs, perhaps via an argument/option similar to the one used to install suggested pkgs.

Suggests solves this annoying issue with meta pkgs with extremely minor changes to the way the pkgs are made (s/Depends/Suggests) and for removal, an argument/option that's selectable to tell aptitude to try removing suggested pkgs in the given pkg if they're installed.

Oh, and if i'm missusing Suggests when in fact, aptitude uses Recommends to install non-"depends" pkgs, then replace all my usages of Suggests with Recommends.

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