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Re: collapse extra priority into optional and allow conflicts?

brian m. carlson wrote:
> On Thu, Dec 06, 2007 at 06:55:12PM +0000, Neil Williams wrote:
>> I'd like 'extra' to disappear - so if there is a move to do that, I'm
>> all for it.
> I disagree with this.  I think that this distinction is useful, and I
> have in the past filed bugs because of it.  Granted, IANADD, but I do
> the occasional bit of bug work.

There is no functional or useful distinction between optional and extra,
as far as I can see - what are you trying to retain?

My principle query is why "optional" is not supposed to support Conflicts.

> [gpe-conf, an embedded control center, conflicts with part of kde/gnome]
>> I don't see why it is wrong for these optional packages to conflict.
> I think gpe-conf should be extra. 

1. That doesn't solve the conflict because gnome-control-center and
kcontrol are still optional
2. It would require migrating some 40 packages from optional to extra
for - as far as I can tell - no good reason. Simpler just to ditch the
Conflicts rule for optional and drop extra completely.

Alternatively, replace 'extra' with 'arch-specific' where packages like
sparc-utils can have a higher priority on sparc and be ignored elsewhere.

> Most Debian installations are either
> desktops or servers.  This is obvious from popcon results, where the top
> three architectures are i386, amd64, and powerpc (followed closely by
> arm).  If people are running a server, they don't want any graphical
> environment installed, and if people are running a desktop, they don't
> want GPE installed.

Not true. GPE offers a desktop - just not a full Gnome desktop. There
are plenty of alternative desktops in optional already. The full GPE
environment is quite specialised but Debian does claim to the The
Universal OS. Emdebian is concentrating on arm but any architecture can
run GPE.

> I'm not saying that embedded applications aren't important, lest you get
> that idea. 

GPE is in Debian and is intended for any low resource implementation. It
is being cross built for Emdebian as it is particularly suitable for
embedded devices but there is no particular reason why GPE could not be
used on other low resource Debian installations - with the exception
that it does tend to expect quite small screen sizes and some of the
windows are quite difficult to use at high res.

I've got a few more packages to add to flesh it out too.

> I'm saying that the majority of installations do not want or
> need gpe-conf, so it should be extra. 

I don't follow the logic - nor do I see why that is different to the
other desktop options that are not KDE or Gnome which are also intended
for special or low resource environments.

I see no reason for any distinction between what is currently optional
and what is currently 'extra'.

> It's a tool for certain special
> environments.  Note that this differs from tools like sparc-utils, that
> although they are specific to an architecture,

That's a red herring, IMHO, because GPE is not specific to an architecture.

> are very useful on those
> machines, and so might legitimately be priority optional or even standard.

That seems to argue for a architecture-specific priority - a meta
prority where is $arch eq "sparc" priority = required else priority = extra.


Neil Williams

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