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Re: Proposed new POSIX sh policy, version two

Thomas Bushnell BSG <tb@becket.net> writes:

> On Thu, 2006-11-23 at 01:15 +0200, Jari Aalto wrote:
> > 
> > I would drop that "special" case and always require explicit
> > requirement for the shell. It's more clear to see which packages
> > "need" bash to make them work. someone may then provide a patch to
> > "make bash go away". I suggest removing the 
> Russ has already explained why this would violate other parts of policy.
> I'm interested in why we should care at all.  Perl is a far bigger space
> hog than bash.
> Someone somewhere told a Big Lie: "bash isn't essential to Debian".
> Lots of people perhaps believe this lie, and have a Grand Quest to "make
> bash go away".  What is the reason?  Why is it worth energy on the part
> of *everyone else*?

Bash is not essential for running Debian. It is possible to run old
PCs and old laptops completely free of bash. The point here is not the
disk consumption, but the reduced memory constrainsts. When scripts
are written with only "sh" in mind, they become portable to even
embedded systems (think busybox). Every bash-dependent scipt that runs
on the system, takes memory out from other processes.

Explicitly listing bash in "Depends:" may be redundant but it makes
things transparent and not "hidden". It announces what is the required
"feature" that the package cannot be run without.

It is possible to remove bash after install and use alternative
shells, as has been demonstrated. And if Package is patched so that
no more bash constructs are needed, it becomes generic.

Education sector and 3rd world still have PCs that are *years* and
*tears* old. Everybody do not live in countries where computers or
hardware are cheap.

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