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

Y Giridhar Appaji Nag wrote:
> Hi debian-devel,
> From policy 7.2 Binary Dependencies - Depends, Recommends, Suggests, Enhances,
> Pre-Depends
> Recommends
>     This declares a strong, but not absolute, dependency.
>     The Recommends field should list packages that would be found together
>     with this one in all but unusual installations.
> Suggests
>     This is used to declare that one package may be more useful with one or
>     more others. Using this field tells the packaging system and the user that
>     the listed packages are related to this one and can perhaps enhance its
>     usefulness, but that installing this one without them is perfectly
>     reasonable.
> I filed a lintian wishlist bug (#527363) requesting a I/W tag when non
> documentation packages recommend documentation packages.
> 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).  I understand that upstream would sometimes like documentation
> to be installed alongside the binaries, but popcon numbers of -doc packages
> are quite lower the numbers corresponding to the packages that recommend them.
> 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.
> [1] grep-dctrl --pattern="-doc" --field=Recommends --and --not \
>     --pattern="-dev" --field=Package --show-field=Package
> [2] Mostly haskell, tcl/tk, texlive and gtk/gnome documentation packages a few
>     others like emacs-goodies-el, twisted-doc etc.


> I wonder if I should remove the following packages from the list.
> Debian X Strike Force <debian-x@lists.debian.org>
>    xorg

I've now begun taking care of this. xorg currently recommends xorg-docs,
which contains several manpages that we consider standard for any X
installation. Unfortunately, it also contains several other docs that
aren't as necessary. What I've just done is uploaded a new version of
xorg-docs to unstable that splits off a new xorg-docs-core package that
contains these manpages. The xorg package in our git repository now
depends on this -core package, and moves xorg-docs to suggests where
it's more appropriate.

Once we upload a new version of xorg, it'll still appear on your scan,
but at that point we'll be considering it a false positive. Thanks for
bringing this to my attention.

 - David Nusinow

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