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Re: Recommends for metapackages


Jonas Smedegaard wrote:

> No, I do not find it right for Debian to mandate meta-packages to only 
> recommend when some users need only a subset of the offerings of said 
> meta-package: There will _always_ be some users needing only a subset of 
> things, rendering all dependencies "wrong" by that logic!

Now hold on a second.

I don't think Eugene would advocate any such sweeping principle as the
one described above.  One thing he did say is that he is against is a
magic "metapackages" section transforming Depends into something
weaker.  I imagine you'd agree with him about that.

So where is the point of disagreement here?

There is a danger in overgeneralizing too early.  As far as I can
tell, the actual problem at hand is:

 - The gnome-core metapackage is very useful to some people.  It helps
   people install a standard GNOME installation, keep it installed,
   and remove it later if they wish, using a single package.

 - Some of the same people do not want to have network-manager
   installed.  They also do not want to have network-manager
   fake-installed using equivs because they want to notice if they try
   to install something that actually requires network-manager.

Given the above problem description, using a Recommends in the
metapackage would seem like a pretty reasonable solution.

Unfortunately there is another complication that throws a spanner in
the works:

 - Some higher-level package managers do not honor Recommends
   correctly (I do not know the details of this and would love to see
   a link to the relevant bug), and therefore the Debian GNOME
   maintainers are very wary of using Recommends in their metapackages

See?  Two reasonable perspectives.  Nothing left to argue about.

I'd encourage anyone wanting to move forward to take all three items
listed above into account.

Hope that helps,

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