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Re: Possible mass bug filing: non-doc packages recommending doc packages

On Thu, 2009-05-07 at 17:55 +0530, Y Giridhar Appaji Nag wrote:
> I filed a lintian wishlist bug (#527363) requesting a I/W tag when non
> documentation packages recommend documentation packages.

While I support the effort to reduce disk space usage, I strongly
disagree with this proposal.

A software is worth nothing without appropriate documentation.
When Joe User installs a package, the documentation should be installed
as well, automatically (i.e "apt-get install perl" install the whole
upstream package).

In my opinion, the "main" package logically Depends on the -doc package,
but the actual dependency header is downgraded to Recommend so system
admin can choose to not install it.

I think it would be much nicer to file a bug against APT so the user can
choose to not install "Recommend" dependencies that sits in section
"doc". [APT maintainers will hate me here]

> With Install-Recommends being the default, many packages pull in a lot
> of associated documentation.  These documentation packages are
> sometimes large and could be suggested rather than recommended.  I
> noticed different opinions about such bugs on the BTS (See #504042
> that went on to be fixed and #526153 that was not).

Regarding the perl-doc (Bug #504042), I believe it's a different story.

The development documentation for libraries and programming languages
should not be installed by the runtime.

This probably means that packages like perl, python, texlive... should
provide a $foo, $foo-doc and $foo-runtime (or -bin, or lib$foo, or
whatever). Other package that needs to depend on that tool should then
depend on $foo-runtime.

>   I understand that upstream would sometimes like documentation to be
> installed alongside the binaries

Upstream want it because it's sensible for their (and our) users.

> but popcon numbers of -doc packages are quite lower the numbers
> corresponding to the packages that recommend them.

Don't make popcon statistics lie.

The reason why -doc popcon is much lower than associated package is
because -doc are "recommended" and Debian-installer's tasksel don't
install recommend packages. IIRC

> Would there be any objections to filing minor/wishlist bugs against
> these packages?  I am including a tentative dd-list corresponding to
> the packages[1] that I found after manually removing some packages[2].
> I will modify it based on suggestions.



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