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Gratituous dependences among packages

At the encouragement of Luk Claes, I would like to raise this subject in
the general mailing list.

It has been my impression that when using aptitude and requesting to
install/upgrade desktops (KDE, maybe also Gnome), several other
packages, which don't interest me, are installed as well.  They cause a
bloat to the installation and longer upgrade times in the future.

I agree with Luk that it is reasonable to recommend the installation of
games, texlive-* and other goodies with packages like KDE and Gnome.  My
problem is that the desktop packages REQUIRE the cruft.

kde depends on kdegraphics (will be broken without this dependence)
  kdegraphics depends upon kdvi (will be broken without this dependence)
    kdvi depends upon some texlive-* packages

So satisfying those dependences would pull in lots of texlive stuff,
even if one has no need for TeX related files.

My wish is that modularization of Debian packages be improved.  It means
that it'll be possible to uninstall all games in a PC and continue to
have functioning KDE.  Likewise - TeX.

                                                --- Omer

On Fri, 2009-03-20 at 16:56 +0100, Luk Claes wrote:
> Omer Zak wrote:
> > Some examples which I have for extraneous dependencies between packages:
> > 1. KDE seems to be indirectly dependent upon all kinds of computer
> > games.
> Well I guess it's quite natural for a desktop environment to include
> these games. Though feel free to discuss this on debian-devel.
> > 2. There is a KDE package, which depends upon texlive-*, but an earlier
> > version did not depend upon it.  In a PC with Lenny Debian, I had to pin
> > that package because of a problem I had with a texlive-* package.
> Are you sure it depends on it? It probably Recommends it and recommended
> package get installed by default.
> > In future packages, I'd like to see all those extraneous dependences
> > being turned off.  Games should be installed only if people explicitly
> > ask them.  And texlive-* stuff should be installed only if a KDE user
> > needs the relevant feature/s.
> I think you should discuss the texlive recommends with the package
> maintainer that Recommends them.
> While you might be right that it should be easy to install a desktop
> environment without games and other gratitous dependencies or
> recommends, I think the default of installing them is not bad.
> Though please discuss all this in the open on the debian-devel mailing
> list as there is not much we Release Managers can do about them.
You haven't made an impact on the world before you caused a Debian
release to be named after Snufkin.
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