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Re: Package variant selection policy using meta packages



On Sat, 22 Dec 2012 14:57:56 +0100
Joachim Breitner <nomeata@debian.org> wrote:

> Am Samstag, den 22.12.2012, 14:39 +0200 schrieb Andrei POPESCU:
> > On Sb, 22 dec 12, 13:17:32, Joachim Breitner wrote:
> > > Users tend to fall into one of three classes:
> > >      A. Users that, if they have foo-dev installed, always also want
> > >         foo-prof installed.
> > >      B. Users that want to manually decide for what packages they want
> > >         the -prof package and for what package not.
> > >      C. Users who don’t want any -prof package around.
> > > 
> > > Currently, we only really help user B. If user A installs foo-dev there
> > > is nothing that ensures that he gets foo-prof installed as well.
> > 
> > And a foo-dev Recommends: foo-prof is not suitable because?
> 
> because we cannot tell what the user will want. For example, a user of
> xmonad will not want -prof packages installed, and an addition 400MB of
> useless stuff on his computer is not in his, and hence our, interest.

apt-get --no-install-recommends xmonad-prof ...
 
> Also, a user from the class A wants a stronger guarantee than just
> Recommends, which is just a suggestion to the package manager, but not a
> a hard relation. With the i-want-all-prof-package metapackage it is
> guaranteed that for every -dev package, there is the corresponding -doc
> package installed.

I don't see why this is necessary. Recommends is a strong guarantee for
most cases, it is also sufficiently flexible for those who want more
control.

Individual packages can check for extras, just like devscripts does. (I
find it hard to believe that anyone except devscripts maintainers
actually needs all of the Recommends: listed for devscripts.)
 
> Am Samstag, den 22.12.2012, 13:32 +0000 schrieb Neil Williams:
> > IMHO, actively preventing the installation of optional dependencies is
> > not something which actually warrants support.
> 
> I admit that use case C might not be as useful as the difference between
> B and A, but it doesn’t hurt either (assuming a meta-package based
> approach is taken for A and B).
> 
> > None of these packages get installed by default, simply disabling the
> > installation of Recommends by default meets all the requirements of
> > cases B & C without making an artificial block between the two.
> 
> I find this a bit coarsely grained. I might be a user in class B or C,
> but besides that I certainly want to follow whatever the maintainer of a
> package recommends me to install. Disabling the installation of
> Recommends would change the behavior of _all_ Debian package. I don’t
> think this is a good solution.

It doesn't have to affect all packages. --no-install-recommends is your
friend. What's more, package managers like synaptic will clearly show
which packages are available as Recommends but which weren't installed.

-- 


Neil Williams
=============
http://www.linux.codehelp.co.uk/

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