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Re: Recommends for metapackages

Abou Al Montacir <abou.almontacir@sfr.fr> writes:

>> As with any package available in Debian: Just don't install it if you do 
>> not like what the package does!
>> It really is that simple!
> I think that we really do not have the same understanding of
> metapackage. You clearly want them strict and non flexible, I want them
> convenient and flexible while ensuring desired functionality.

A flexible meta package is useless, however. If you want flexibility,
you can already install parts by themselves. If you want to remove them
with one broad swipe, that is also possible (create a meta that depends
on them all, so they get marked auto-installed, and install that meta;
or create a dummy package that conflicts with them, and install that -
both of these can be automated, and even beaten into a shape suitable
even for novice users, FYI).

However, if you want predictability, then Depends is your only
option. And if I install a meta package, I expect it to always install
the full thing, and keep those parts installed. Something that installs
almost the full thing, save a few, and allows distinctly-related stuff
to force removal of some of the meta is... well... unpredictable
rubbish, that is just asking for trouble.

Instead of fighting for Recommends, which would break your system in
various interesting ways later on[1], there's a third solution: noone
stops anyone from uploading a gnome-minimal package, which depends on
gnome-session and a few selected other parts, without n-m.

 [1]: http://article.gmane.org/gmane.linux.debian.devel.general/174877

And that goes for the rest of the meta packages: you can always
introduce more, customized for common needs.

So, we could say to users: You don't want the full gnome platform?
Neither do you want to pick parts of it by hand? Install gnome-minimal!


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