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Conditional Recommends

Hi all,

in Debian many packages have a fine granularity, which is a very good
thing. Unfortunately there is a drawback; when you install two programs
A and B that are designed to interact together, often the piece of code
that makes them interact together is in a separate package (A-plugin-B)
that depends on both. When you install A and B, they don’t interact
together and you have to understand you also need A-plugin-B.

Therefore, I’m wondering whether it would be possible to extend the
syntax of Recommends to allow for conditional dependencies. For example,
in this case:
        Package: A
        Recommends: A-plugin-B {B}
APT would be made to install A-plugin-B by default, but only if B is
installed too. In addition, it would also have to install it while
pulling B if A is already here.

This has numerous use cases in desktop environment packages. It would
also solve the problem of language packs, and you could ensure that when
installing OOo or iceweasel it would also come with the language packs
corresponding to the installed language tasks on your system.

I’m not familiar at all with the APT internals, so I’d appreciate if
knowledgeable people could answer my questions. 
      * Does it make any sense at all? 
      * If so, how hard would it be to implement? 
      * Does it need changes outside APT? 
      * Do you think it would be useful? 
      * If not, what could be done for the aforementioned issues?

.''`.      Josselin Mouette
: :' :
`. `'

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