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Re: Priority dependence

On Mon, Jul 19, 2010 at 09:14:52PM +0100, Neil Williams wrote:
> Of those, aptitude and it's dependencies are not necessary (just nice
> to have sometimes), tasksel and dependencies should only be included
> when using D-I, whiptail and readline (and dependencies) are not always
> necessary, particularly when debconf is preset to non-interactive
> (like chroots) and having both vim and nano is just overkill. I like vim
> but even vim-tiny is not as small as it's name would indicate and yet
> not sufficiently useful, compared to vim-full, to be retained on many
> systems.

The vi and nano debate was had a long time ago.  So was the nvi versus
vim-tiny.  It was decided that first-time users were not going to be
able to navigate vi, but experienced users would expect it.  I don't
know why people argued for vim-tiny over nvi; for a really rudimentary
base system, I think smaller is better.

> "Systems with only the required packages are probably unusable, but they
> do have enough functionality to allow the sysadmin to boot and install
> more software."
> Systems with only the required packages installed can be fully usable -
> depending on the type of tasks expected of that system. The installed
> packages still include enough functionality to allow the sysadmin to
> boot and install more software.

I think the key word here is "probably".  For many purposes, such a
system is completely unusable.  For example, required contains no text
editor.  My cell phone (running Android 1.6) has no need for a text
editor, and therefore doesn't have one.  However, any machine on which
I'm personally going to install Debian is certainly going to need one
out of the box, and so required is insufficient.

> I might even file a bug report against debian-policy for that one. It's
> a subtle change but one that reflects the move towards making Debian a
> truly Universal OS, not just a desktop and server OS (which, IMHO, it
> was until, probably, Lenny).

I think that Debian is a good base for a variety of systems, but that
it's simply not feasible to make it suitable for very, very small
embedded systems as well as normal laptops, desktops, and servers.

brian m. carlson / brian with sandals: Houston, Texas, US
+1 832 623 2791 | http://www.crustytoothpaste.net/~bmc | My opinion only
OpenPGP: RSA v4 4096b: 88AC E9B2 9196 305B A994 7552 F1BA 225C 0223 B187

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