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Re: Recommends for metapackages

On 12-07-10 at 07:35pm, Eugene V. Lyubimkin wrote:
> On 2012-07-10 18:10, Jonas Smedegaard wrote:
> > The very purpose of a meta-package is to _ensure_ that a certain set 
> > of packages is installed, not just recommend them: All (not only 
> > most) users of that package need all its dependencies satisfied
> My definition of meta-package is less strict than yours. I as user 
> sometimes want '[meta]package X, but without packages Y and Z', and 
> your definition absolutely rules that out.
> I saw many questions on forums like
> "I did '$packagemanager install $metapackage' and then after 
> '$packagemanager remove $singlepackage', why $packagemanager now wants 
> to remove all $metapackage?"
> , so I know I'm not alone.

As users we play around with the possibilities of the Debian system, and 
not always get it right.  Sometimes we misunderstand parts of the system 
design wrongly and do not enjoy the full potential of Debian for ages, 
until learning more - and often parallel to that Debian improving to be 
more clear in its intended use.

You being alone does not make you right.

A package manager wanting to remove all dependencies of a meta-package 
is quite sensible - when you understand the sense of it.  Until then it 
is utterly confusing.

> Using Recommends for non-core parts of 
> metapackages' dependencies would nicely solve that.

...but I disagree that making meta-packages more elastic is a "nice" 
solution: is a hack covering over misguided users.  Possible solutions 
could be improved documentation and improved design of package managers.

 - Jonas

 * Jonas Smedegaard - idealist & Internet-arkitekt
 * Tlf.: +45 40843136  Website: http://dr.jones.dk/

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