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Re: alternative dependency ordering - with respect of packages in main

On Tue, Sep 20, 2011 at 01:12:37PM +0200, Gerfried Fuchs wrote:
>  tl;dr - what do you think, is a "Depends: foo-contrib | foo" acceptable
> for packages in main or should it be "Depends: foo | foo-contrib"
> instead?

I think the first form above ("foo-contrib | foo") is not acceptable. My
argument is that we should make choice of non-free software an explicit
action of Debian users, rather than an implicit/automated one.

Most of our package manager frontends — including the default one — walk
dependency formulae left to right, preferring the first alternative if
it is satisfiable. That means that a user installing a package with a
dependency like the first form above will install foo-contrib without
necessarily knowing they are doing so.

I understand it can be argued that users enabling contrib/non-free have
decided to opt-in for non-free software. But I still don't think such a
system-wide should be taken as a wildcard to install contrib/non-free
packages without user consent.

If there were a way to fix a system-wide dependency solving preference
that would favor main packages by default, unless explicitly customized
by the sysadm, the first form might be (more) acceptable. I don't think
it is acceptable without it.

Just my 0.02€,
Stefano Zacchiroli     zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} . o .
Maître de conférences   ......   http://upsilon.cc/zack   ......   . . o
Debian Project Leader    .......   @zack on identi.ca   .......    o o o
« the first rule of tautology club is the first rule of tautology club »

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