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Re: Recommends for metapackages

Wouter Verhelst <wouter@debian.org> writes:

> On Tue, Jul 10, 2012 at 04:18:17PM +0200, Gergely Nagy wrote:
>> "Eugene V. Lyubimkin" <jackyf@debian.org> writes:
>> > On 2012-07-10 15:32, Josselin Mouette wrote:
>> >> Le mardi 10 juillet 2012 à 17:38 +0900, Miles Bader a écrit : 
>> >> > What's wrong with Recommends: in that case?  It seems to perfectly
>> >> > match the "makes life easier for <common but not universal use-case
>> >> > XXX>" scenario you describe.
>> >> 
>> >> Recommends is wrong for metapackages because it gets upgrades very
>> >> wrong. This is why it is used very marginally.
>> >
>> > Standards should not depend on implementation details. I see zero
>> > reasons why metapackages are (or should be) specific here. Whatever $it
>> > that gets upgrades wrong should be fixed instead.
>> But the purpose of the meta-package is to pull stuff in. Depends does
>> that, Recommends does not, therefore Recommends is not appropriate for
>> the task.
> Of course it does. Five years ago, when apt didn't install recommends by
> default, recommends might not have been appropriate, but these days it
> is.

Does it pull in recommends on upgrade? No? Just how useful are they
then, for following the changes in the meta?

Does Recommends guarantee that the platform will stay intact, unless I
explicitly remove a recommended package? No? That'll be fun! "I
installed gnome, but an upgrade wants to remove totem! What's up with
that??" Is no better than "I installed gnome, but an upgrade wants to
remove it altogether", except the former is more dangerous, as it wants
to remove a package you didn't install by hand, and may not know what it
does. For novice users, the former is far more dangerous, because they
may not know what the removed package is for. At least with Depends, the
same upgrade would want to remove the Gnome metapackage, and they'd know
what THAT is, and can stop the upgrade.

No, recommends are a terrible idea for meta-packages.

|8], who still doesn't like being CC'd on list mail.

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