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Re: priorities

On Thu, Dec 06, 2007 at 10:26:11AM -0600, Manoj Srivastava wrote:
> > I'm not sure if there's any point to continuing to try to make sure
> > that nothing >= optional conflicts with anything else >= optional.
>         Hmm.  Can you elaborate on this, please? Is it because it is too
>  hard to achieve this? Or you think this is something unattainable even
>  in theory? It is a nice invariant, if only we could get it to hold for
>  Debian.

I don't have any statistics to back the following up.

I don't think we have been doing it very thoroughly for years now, so
at best it's something that's often true, but not always (eg, there's
only one mail-transport-agent of priority optional or higher -- except
there's actually three: exim4-daemon-light (standard), exim4-daemon-heavy
and nbsmtp).

It requires us to choose a winner amongst similar packages that use
Conflicts instead of alternatives, when really we'd rather leave that
up to our users (or people maintaining derivative distros, or tasksel
or whatever).

I don't think it serves an actual point -- back in the day saying "install
everything of priority optional or above" was a feasible way of getting
a really powerful and useful Debian system. That's not really plausible
anymore thanks to the sheer amount of software.

> > optional -- all the good software in the world
> > extra -- obscure stuff
>         If we are removing the invariant that everything in optional
>  should not conflict with anything else in optional, and extra is where
>  the conflicing packages go, is there any reason to retain extra as a
>  distinct section?

Being able to classify software as "Unless you have a really special need,
you don't want this" still seems somewhat useful to me. I also somewhat
like the idea of having your average free software package in main at
a higher priority than your average non-free software package.


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