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Re: Installation of Recommends by default on October 1st

Neil Williams <codehelp@debian.org> writes:

> On Wed, 1 Aug 2007 19:28:27 +0200
> md@Linux.IT (Marco d'Itri) wrote:
>> On Aug 01, Michael Vogt <mvo@debian.org> wrote:
>> > We, the APT Development Team, will change apt to install recommended
>> > packages by default on October 1st. This should give enough time to
>> Why? What is the point?
> Precisely - just what is the benefit? I really don't think this is a
> good idea. 

TBH, I think this is a very good idea. There are a lot of cases in the
debian archive, were the package maintainer wants to express that a
related package should really be installed by default, but is not really
necessary in all cases. Moreover, in some cases it makes sense to
uninstall that related package. Stressing the 'Recommends' relationship
as mandated by current policy by installing them by default in apt it
therefore a very good idea.

> My immediate reaction is to disable recommends on all my
> boxes. Have I got to write a script now to force this decision to be
> undone whenever I install a new box?

That's just one line in your apt.conf, as described in the original

> I'll certainly need something like that for the cross-built apt for
> Emdebian - embedded devices will not cope with this change.

Feel free. As said, it is just one line in the config.

> Why can't this be a debconf selection (with a default of OFF)! I see no
> reason to make it mandatory for new installations, let alone every
> upgrade to existing boxes.

I don't see the necessity to add debconf to the apt maintainer
scripts. If it was to be added, it should default to on, since it
implements the current policy.

> If I wanted Recommends:, I'd use aptitude - I see no sense in forcing
> this.

You can turn it the other way round: If you don't want recommends, just
turn it of, the same way as you do it with aptitude.

> I tried the sample commands and apt wanted to add HALF A GIGABYTE of
> unnecessary stuff!!! Others may consider hard disc space cheap but, in
> truth, hard disc space is not infinite.
> Please, please, please, reconsider.

Please stop whining and start contributing. E.g. by filing bugs against
package (and possibly NMU them) that abuse the Recommends relationship.

Reinhard Tartler, KeyID 945348A4

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