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Re: Installation of Recommends by default on October 1st

Russ Allbery wrote:
> I think it's also particularly annoying for our two major recommended
> package installation interfaces, aptitude and apt-get, to do the opposite
> thing by default with this core of a feature.  What a recipe for
> confusion for the average user who doesn't know the history and doesn't
> choose them based on their Recommends-handling behavior!  We shouldn't be
> substituting tool selection for configuration.

Exactly. One thing I quite often experienced by introducing people to
Debian is that they get all confused about the different behaviors of
apt-get and aptitude. To most users, those tools are a way to install
packages, and not knowing their history leads to confusing why they do
the same task in different ways.

Most of those are totally fine with installing "junk", as it was called
by others on this thread. They like it because having all x-drivers on
their system allows them to exchange graphic cards without much effort.
It's done rarely, I know. But most of them are unexperienced users of
either Debian or Linux and want things to "just work" which is the
Debian way. And the Social Contract is about our users, and I think an
identical behaviour in the apt tools and having Recommends is what the
majority of users want.

I use aptitude for my everyday work. On my desktop, I really appreciate
pulling in Recommends. On cluster compute nodes, I don't. But I can turn
it of easily without being "forced" to use apt-get just because I'm on a
different type of machine. Compute nodes are what I'd call an "unusual
installation", as the Policy states it for Recommends. So are Embedded
Devices. (Of course, the definition of "usual" is always vague.)

IMHO, having apt-get to install recommended packages is a good choice.
It's not hard for the user with special needs to change it, even on a
lot of boxes. It's the current Recommends: fields that are broken, not
the tools. But IANADD.

Best regards

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