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Re: RFC: Making mail-transport-agent Priority: optional

Joey Hess wrote:
> Josh Triplett wrote:
> > What would it take to make this change?
> > 
> > I will happily work to coordinate this transition.
> For me this thread raises two interesting questions. The first is the one
> Josh asks above, which has not been answered. How do we make decisions
> about the content of standard? How can that decision process be improved?

In the past, for relatively uncontroversial cases, I've had some success simply
filing bugs against the packages in question.  See
for some of them; note that all of those except procmail got addressed without
any particular objection.

However, something told me that I would not have the same success with
exim4 without starting a discussion on debian-devel first. :)

Improving the decision process does seem like a good idea; this
certainly isn't the last change I hope to make to the default set of
installed packages, though I suspect it's the most controversial. :)

> My other question comes from policy:
>      `standard'
>           These packages provide a reasonably small but not too limited
>           character-mode system.  This is what will be installed by default
>           if the user doesn't select anything else.  It doesn't include
>           many large applications.
> As I read this, it would be legal for tasksel, when the user selects the
> desktop task, to *not* install standard, or not all of standard. It
> could, for example, decide to drop the MTA. I'm curious what the
> reaction to that would be, in both this specific and the general case.
> Is it a compromise that allows us to keep standard full of unix goodness
> while still catering to the desktop, or a greedy power grab?

I think a strict reading of the sentence in policy allows the behavior
you describe.  However, it seems rather confusing to me to have tasksel
install *parts* of tasks rather than entire tasks, and I definitely
think a default install (regardless of other tasks installed) should
include almost all of what currently exists in standard.

I also don't think that saying "I don't want a GUI", or "I don't want
all the packages in the Desktop task", should necessarily mean "I want
an MTA".  That seems both confusing and incorrect.  I install plenty of
random systems with no GUI (such as research or scratch systems), and an
MTA makes even less sense on those than it would on my laptop.

So, I'd recommend against that approach.

- Josh Triplett

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