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Re: Recommends for metapackages

On 2012-07-10 23:46, Jonathan Nieder wrote:
>  - 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.

Most metapackages provide such a "useful collection of packages" (that
may evolve over time). They usually provide alternative implementations
of some functionality that don't conflict with each other (e.g. desktop
environment: Gnome/KDE/Xfce/... (disregarding n-m for now), editor:
vim/emacs/..., typesetting: texlive/libreoffice/...). Some have a subset
relation: foo-core -> foo-standard -> foo-full
If the metapackage depends on an application you don't like, you just
don't use it and install another one. Usually the unused one won't do
harm by just being installed. (If you were really  concerned about disk
space you wouldn't use the metapackages but install only the things you
use (and create your own minimized metapackages).)

The situation with n-m is a bit different: the functionality it provides
*conflicts* with alternative solutions (which were previously enumerated
in this thread) and there is (afaik) no switch to just turn n-m off to
allow using $alternative while keeping n-m installed.

>  - 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.

This functionality *conflict* is the reason several people (including
me) would like to see that dependency downgraded to a Recommends.

And if there are bugs in handling Recommends properly, they should be fixed.


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