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Re: Policy regarding virtual packages

On Monday 28 August 2006 18:48, Aurelien Jarno took the opportunity to say:
> Roger Leigh wrote:
> > Hi folks,
> >
> > Following some discussion with Marco d'Itri about inetd, I'd like to
> > put forward some more general thoughts on virtual package handling for
> > some comments.
> >
> > Currently, virtual packages (such as mail-transport-agent) cannot be
> > specified by themselves.  They can only be used in combination with a
> > non-virtual package which provides the default implementation.  For
> > example:
> I just hope this is not true, because there are thousands packages in
> the archive depending on libc6-dev, or libc6-dev | libc-dev. Both
> libc6-dev and libc-dev are virtual packages on some architectures (such
> as alpha or ia64).

Actually they can, but it's recommended that a real package be given as well. 
From /usr/share/lintian/checks/fields.desc:

Tag: virtual-package-depends-without-real-package-depends
Type: warning
Ref: policy 7.4
Info: The package declares a depends on a virtual package without listing a
 real package as an alternative first.
 A real package should be listed in the first part of the | dependency in
 order for the package to be installable by package management programs that
 can't or won't guess which alternative to select by default. In particular,
 it helps build daemons rebuild the package without manual overrides.

Magnus Holmgren        holmgren@lysator.liu.se
                       (No Cc of list mail needed, thanks)

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