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Re: Depends vs. Recommends

Jens Peter Secher <jps@debian.org> wrote:

> Adam Borowski <kilobyte@angband.pl> writes:
>> On Sun, Jul 16, 2006 at 10:11:41AM +0200, Thijs Kinkhorst wrote:
>>> I agree that that is a common type of file to recover, so that would
>>> make it more appropriate to Recommend cpio rather than Suggest.
>> "a common type"?  Come on, that's not just "common", it's "a vast
>> majority of cases".  And, a hard Depend on a small priority=important
>> package is not a big burden -- what about just having a dependency
>> without the comment?
> No.
> And the reason can be found in Policy section 7.2:
>         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 phase.
> The dependency system is used to make sure things don't break on the
> _system_ level.  

I don't agree.  This "break on the system level" only relates to the
second paragraph I quoted.  The first one is also a reason for a
Depends.  If this other package is needed for the core functionality,
than it should be depended on.

> To ease upgrades, transitions, etc., dependencies
> (Depends) should be kept to the absolute minimum.

There's always a tradeoff:  The easiest system to upgrade is one that
runs, but is barely usable for anything...

Regards, Frank
Frank Küster
Single Molecule Spectroscopy, Protein Folding @ Inst. f. Biochemie, Univ. Zürich
Debian Developer (teTeX/TeXLive)

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