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Re: Too many Recommends (in particular on mail-transport-agent)

على الثلاثاء 30 أيار 2017 ‫07:57، كتب Ansgar Burchardt:
> my impression is that too many packages use Recommends that should
> really be Suggests.  As a random example: installing dracut as a
> initramfs provider will pull in exim4... (dracut-core Recommends: mdadm
> which Recommends: default-mta | mail-transport-agent).  This seems
> really not ideal.
> As a result many people seem to disable installing recommended packages
> by default.  I believe we should be much more agressive in downgrading
> dependencies to Suggests.

I completely agree. I've teken issue with packages recommending packages
in the spirit of "if you want this, you might also want X", which is the
literal sense of the word "recommends", but fits the definition in
policy for Suggests ("package may be more useful with one or more
others"). I've been unsuccessful in arguing this case before (#849619),
so I don't think the bug-filing method previously suggested [1] will
work. I think there needs to be a clarification to everyone of what
Recommends is for, since there seem to be different interpretations
(although the policy looks quite clear to me).

I see this as a real problem for cases where a Recommends is actually
important. As an example, I have a package pbhoney that Recommends
pbdagcon. If pbdagcon is not installed, pbhoney has a fallback
implementation that is not as good. So it is highly preferable to have
pbdagcon installed if it is available, but you can still use pbhoney
without it--although it will not run as well. I see that this perfectly
fits the definition of Recoomends ("a strong, but not absolute,
dependency"). but if people go on and globally use
--no-install-recommends, there may be an unnecessarily negative
consequence here.


1. https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2016/04/msg00159.html

Afif Elghraoui | عفيف الغراوي

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