Re: Too many Recommends (in particular on mail-transport-agent)
>>>>> Adam Borowski <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
>>>>> On Mon, Jun 05, 2017 at 05:39:41PM -0700, Russ Allbery wrote:
>> Maybe someone has a list of things they view as Recommends inflation
>> that have (a) been reported as bugs to the appropriate package
>> maintainers, and (b) have been rejected by those package
>> maintainers? Those are the controversial ones that we'd need to
>> talk about.
> bash-completion: bash dput-ng licensecheck
> * DEBATABLE: I like the Tab key to do something reasonable,
> "bash-completion" means you never know what you'll get.
FWIW, I agree wholeheartedly with this one. (The only reason I
don’t have ‘complete -r’ in my ~/.bashrc is that bash-completion
is rarely if ever installed on the systems I frequently use.)
> freedoom | game-data-packager: prboom-plus
> * DEBATABLE: freedoom is too ugly to live, shareware Doom has assets
> missing for running pretty much anything Doom-related (and AFAIK its
> license forbids add-ons). On the other hand, this is an excuse for
> Doom engines in main.
The latter seems like a good enough reason for this dependency.
> freepats: libwildmidi-config timidity
> * BAD: freepats is too ugly to live: abysmal quality, lacks
> instruments for pretty much any .mid file in the wild. We do have a
> bunch of good alternatives. timgm6mb-soundfont for one is 5.6 times
> smaller yet is complete.
Probably a relic of the days long gone; I guess it should be
updated to include some more alternatives (in preference to
freepats) – so long as timidity can (be made to) actually use
any of them “out-of-box.”
Description-en: Free patch set for MIDI audio synthesis
It is, however, the sole DFSG-compliant patch set in existence so far.
New patches (including those in better formats, such as SF2 SoundFont banks)
> gfortran-mingw-w64: gcc-mingw-w64
> * BAD: seriously, Fortran?
Fortran is still widely used (in niche applications; WRF comes
to mind), but I see no good reason for this dependency.
> ghostscript: gimp imagemagick-6.q16 libmagickcore-6.q16-3 netpbm
> * BAD: why would editing images care about a grossly obsolete
> _document_ format?
So that one can $ convert pic.ps pic.png? Or (I suspect)
$ convert file.pdf file.png, for that matter.
(Or perhaps more sensibly: $ display pic.ps pic.pdf.)
Moreover, PostScript is a programming (code) language – not a
I’m neutral on this dependency, though. I do like PostScript
same, but I see how it may be nice to support .ps (and .pdf?)
rasterization in ImageMagick and Gimp “out-of-box.”
> gnat-mingw-w64: gcc-mingw-w64
> * BAD: see Fortran.
> gnupg-l10n: gnupg
> * DEBATABLE: I don't think anyone tech skilled enough to use GPG
> would have problems with English, but localization is important.
> On the other hand, this is 4.5MB in the default install.
Well, ‘locales’ is about 9 MiB in the same, so…
> libhtml-format-perl: libhtml-tree-perl libwww-perl
> * ????: wut?
… Me neither.
> libhttp-daemon-perl: libwww-perl
> * TRANSITIVELY BAD: dependency comes from a client package; if I want
> to run a http server I know where to find it
That’s only Installed-Size: 71, so I don’t see much of a
problem. AIUI, libwww-perl (as per upstream) had the
HTTP::Daemon library for decades, thus not installing one by
default in Debian may easily surprise an unsuspecting user.
> libpackage-stash-xs-perl: libpackage-stash-perl
> * TRANSITIVELY BAD: dependencies pulling more dependencies, why?
I suppose that’s so one’s Perl script can be Architecture: all,
instead of depending on either pure-Perl or an XS (binary)
implementation of the package – depending on the architecture.
> libpurple-bin: libpurple0
> * BAD: a library has no reason to install programs
My exact reaction on seeing that Mutt transitively Depends: on
GnuPG – all thanks to libgpgme11 depending on the latter.
I do not know about this specific case, but I very much agree
with the principle.
> libtasn1-doc: libtasn1-6-dev
> * TRANSITIVELY BAD: probably useful if you do TASN (whatever it is),
> pulled in by a very-widespread library (gnutls)
That’s Abstract Syntax Notation One (or ASN.1), and while I use
it all the time (notation, that is; not this specific library at
the moment), I see no reason for a -dev package to depend on a
-doc one any stronger than with a mere Suggests:.
> transfig: inkscape
> * BLOAT: a badly obsolete image format, pulls in ghostscript and
> other crap
Curiously enough, I still find XFig – with all its numerous
shortcomings – more usable than Inkscape.
> uuid-runtime: libuuid1 libuuid1:i386
> * BAD: useful only if you generate many many UUIDs per second,
> certainly unfit when coming from a transitively essential library
… Me neither.
Makes even less sense when installing libuuid1-depending
software in a chroot – the one you do not intend to start
daemons from, like, ever.
> xml-core: libxml2 libxml2:i386
> * BAD: what the heck I'd want a "XML catalog" for?
To adequately process XML files with non-trivial <!DOCTYPE>s?
AFAICT, the trend was to never ever rely on DTDs in newer XML
formats and files, so this one’s only value is probably in
enabling support for legacy XML.
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