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Re: [RFC] DEP-6: Meta-Package debian/control field

Andreas Metzler wrote:

> David Paleino <dapal@debian.org> wrote:
>> Andreas Metzler wrote:
> [...]
>> I hope no-one ever depends on a meta-package.
>> Do you have any real case for this?
> [...]
> kde depends on kde-core.

And both are metapackages.

(apart from the fact that I can't find kde nor kde-core, but I'm basing my 
example on kde-full depending on kde-minimal, which should be the same thing 

Currently, kde-minimal throws in kdebase-{runtime,workspace,apps}. Each of 
these throws in other things. Let's look at, say, kdebase-workspace. It 
depends on non-essential things, which become essential per the Depends: 
With this DEP implemented, and both kde-full and kde-minimal Meta:yes, you 

# apt-get install kde-full
# apt-get --purge remove kdebase-workspace

and still have a working system.
You could also remove kdebase-runtime and, unless there's some other package 
depending on it, you still have a working system.

Moreover, kde-full depending on kde-minimal is not a good example, at all. 
It's one metapackage depending on another -- what you probably wanted to 
highlight is the case where some "normal" package depends on a meta one.
In this case, I'd say that it's a bug, even though I agree it's a subtle 
The meta-package can change its dependencies whenever the maintainer wants, 
and one should really depend on direct packages, instead of what gets pulled 
in by the package manager.
This is the same reasoning as specifying each needed build-dependency in a 
package, and not relying on the dependency chain.

Hope this clears it a bit, and addresses your concerns :)


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