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Re: Removing web server dependencies from web apps

Thomas Goirand, 2012-01-06 08:56+0100:
> Also, it's very surprising to see that we have dependencies for web
> servers, but most of the time *not* for mysql-server, which is as much
> needed in order to run these applications. I really don't understand the
> logic behind this.

The database server used by a given piece of software can be installed
on another system. The Web server cannot.

> But since I would install these packages in the chroot template, I *do
> not* want to install apache there. The result is that I can't install
> popuplar packages like wordpress, gallery, phpbb3 and so on, unless I
> rebuild them and remove the "apache2 | httpd" dependency. I suspect that
> I wouldn't be the only one with the issue.

This sounds like you are using your own crafted stuff to provide the
needs of your software stuff. Just like someone that would for instance
compile his own version of Python from sources. Well, in such a case I
see it as a will not to use the package manager, and thus your
responsibility to do whatever is needed to fool it. This is usually done
by creating fake empty packages, I guess.

> Remember that a strong dependency is *forcing* users to install things,
> and when, like here, it's going the wrong way for what one would do,
> it's just *bad* (tm).

No it is not. Using a package-based distribution that could take care of
dependencies and not using that feature is, however.

> So, my suggestion would be to actually *remove* the dependency to the
> web server (and move it as a Recommends: if you see fit...). I would
> strongly advocate for this as being written in our beloved policy.
> What do others think about this?

That it would be a very bad thing to do. Most users want to install
software so that it works without further questions. You are in a very
specific, specialized case, so you should be able to deal with it.

: /` )   Tanguy Ortolo <xmpp:tanguy@ortolo.eu> <irc://irc.oftc.net/Tanguy>
| `-'    Debian Developer

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