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Re: Recommends for metapackages

On Tue, 10 Jul 2012, Andrei POPESCU wrote:
> On Ma, 10 iul 12, 22:07:10, Eugene V. Lyubimkin wrote:
> > ... And I disagree with that. No solution can override policy's "all
> > Depends must be satisfied". If one choose to support the "exclude from
> > metapackage" one either has to change the policy, remove packages from
> > Depends or use non-stock metapackage (which I personally don't like).
> One solution proposed some time ago was to have package managers mark 
> packages depended on as manually installed, whenever the user choses to 
> uninstall only one package depended by meta-pacakge.

Wow, that'd be a very poor way to break the system further in order to make
meta-packages even more annoying.

IMO, metapackages should "depend" on the absolutely required stuff (and many
times that will be the empty set), "recommend" the rest, and maybe even
"suggest" fringe packages.  This achieves maximum usability for more
usecases, and malfunctions only in the unsupported case of "no install
recommends by default" -- you should skip recommends always in a
case-by-case basis.

> IMVHO Recommends makes more sense for packages that are not strictly 
> required, but maybe package managers should gain a 
> "Install-New-Recommends" option defaulting to true?

Package managers already disclose that sort of relationship (sometimes
indirectly).  I've been using that information for years through aptitude.

OTOH, metapackages from hell (like gnome or kde-full) based on Depends
require me to select them, go to the "will install these" screen, deselect
the meta package, and go over the list manually installing whatever isn't
going to be useless/unwelcome for my specific case.  And I will never notice
if the metapackage changes its dependency tree later on.  The only reason I
have to do it in this extremely suboptiomal way, is the (IMO) abuse of
"Depends" on metapackages instead of a much more proper mix of mostly
"recommends", with sparingly used "depends" and "suggests" when the
situatuion warrants it.

  "One disk to rule them all, One disk to find them. One disk to bring
  them all and in the darkness grind them. In the Land of Redmond
  where the shadows lie." -- The Silicon Valley Tarot
  Henrique Holschuh

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