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What is the use case for Policy §7.6.2 ?


the Debian policy makes a special case of the
Provides/Conflicts/Replaces combination, allowing to replace a package
by another.

The document mentions the case of a virtual package, for which this is
nice and all, but it is still allowed for other packages.

However, any versioned dependency is broken when you handle upgrades
this way. Even worse, APT does not handle such situations very well. Bug
#691160 is a good example of what happens in a bad case (the old package
not being installable anymore). Arguably this is a bug in APT, but we
are more prone to such bugs by allowing arcane relationships between

It looks to me that we should strictly favor the transitional package
approach instead. Shouldn’t we entirely forbid the
Provides/Conflicts/Replaces combination way of handling upgrades, except
for virtual packages?

 .''`.      Josselin Mouette
: :' :
`. `'

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