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

On Sun, Dec 20, 2009 at 05:06:39PM +0100, David Paleino wrote:
> In fact, when removing any dependency of the meta-package, it gets
> removed as well, and all other dependencies become *leaf packages* that
> autoremove will try to remove from the system. This is usually not
> what the users want, as they probably installed (or had it by default)
> the meta-package to have a "standard" environment, but don't want or
> need specific packages.

Have you looked at the prior art in this area in Ubuntu?  Ubuntu defines a
special archive section, 'metapackages', which results in special
tagging/handling of the Depends and Recommends of the package so that
they're not autoremoved if the metapackage is removed.  This is implemented
in the high-level package management tools.

In this scenario, with Recommends installed by default (the only sane
model), the vast majority of metapackage dependencies are moved from Depends
to Recommends, so you can remove those Recommends manually without forcing
removal of the metapackage; and you can remove the metapackage without
causing cascading autoremoval of e.g., half your desktop.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

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