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Re: new fields in debian/control

On Wed, Jul 19, 2000 at 11:44:33AM -0400, Ben Collins wrote:
> On Wed, Jul 19, 2000 at 11:00:31AM -0400, Gopal Narayanan wrote:
> > While we are on the topic of items to add to debian/control, I would
> > like to suggest
> > 
> > * Install-Depends
> > 
> > This field could be used to specify packages that are required only
> > during the installation phase, eg. packages such as debconf, wget,
> > etc. Packages in the Install-Depends field are completely unnecessary
> > for the normal execution of the installed package. Once the
> > installation phase is over, these packages might be safely
> > removed. Packages like deborphan can remove Install-depends packages
> > to eliminate further cruft from a system.
> That makes sense, but doesn't sound like a good idea to me. People would
> start removing debconf after every upgrade, only to redownload and install
> it the next time that upgrade. This goes for several other packages
> aswell. Probably, if this is ever implemented, then it should be
> restricted to packages needed for initial install, but not for ones needed
> during upgrades. This would avoid the need to download those
> Install-Depends for every upgrade, but more than likely this field would
> be so underused, it wouldn't be worth it.

I don't believe too many people will tear away and start deleting
Install-Depends packages between upgrades. I was only pointing it out
as an added benefit. The real problem is that the present situation is
actually absurd. If you wanted to use debconf in your package, you
have to put debconf in the "Depends" item. According to the Packaging
Manual definition for Depends:

     This declares an absolute dependency. 
     The Depends field should be used if the depended-on package is
     required for the depending package to provide a significant amount of

debconf provides *no* functionality to the package (other than the
functionality that comes from installing it :)). With the growing use
of install packages such as debconf, I think the Install-Depends field
makes sense.


Gopal Narayanan <gopal@debian.org> <gopal@astro.umass.edu>
Debian GNU/Linux Developer
Dept. of Astronomy, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

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