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Re: APT 0.7 for sid

On Sun, Jun 10, 2007 at 06:05:49PM -0500, Peter Samuelson <peter@p12n.org> was heard to say:
> [Daniel Burrows]
> >   I'm in favor of either enabling this by default in apt or downgrading
> > Recommends in policy to just a "really Suggests".
> [snip interesting background material]
> I would suggest - nay, I would recommend - keeping Policy the way it is
> and fixing packages to use Recommends as it was intended.  It is a very
> useful semantic and I wouldn't want to see it get lost.  We already
> have Suggests, after all.

  Yes, absolutely.  I guess I got so caught up in my trip down memory
lane that I forgot to include my own opinion, which is the same as
what Peter says above.

  But my main point is that we have a weird limbo where you're supposed
to treat recommends as important, except that actually doing that leads
to excessive installations and occasional breakage.  We need to bite the
bullet and resolve the inconsistency; and despite my personal preference,
I think that either resolution is preferable to the current situation.

> >   This has led to a situation where I occasionally hear things like
> > this statement, from a developer whose incorrect Recommendation was
> > being obeyed by aptitude and breaking the system:
> > 
> >   "It's things like this that encourage me to continue using apt-get
> >    instead of aptitude!"
> Simply astonishing.  I hope the developer was roundly larted, by you or
> someone else, with a copy of Policy printed on heavy paper and
> hardbound with brass accents.

  Well, the package in stable has the wrong recommendation.  Does
that count? :-P

  This won't affect most users, because the specific problem was that
he had listed a pure virtual package as his recommendation; most users
will have the correct alternative, but picking the wrong one can render
the system unbootable if you're (un)lucky.


  PS: the reason I'm not mentioning the package that this involves, or the
      developer in question, is because I don't want to personalize this.
      The problem isn't that individual, it's that the general attitude
      towards Recommends seems, from my personal and highly biased
      viewpoint, to be evolving towards a "strong Suggests" model, rather
      than a "weak Depends".

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