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Re: Using "Priority: optional" in Debian GIS packages

On 11/21/2013 10:39 PM, Andreas Tille wrote:
> On Thu, Nov 21, 2013 at 05:53:59PM +0100, Sebastiaan Couwenberg wrote:
>> I have work-in-progress policy for Debian GIS, it's forked from the
>> Debian Med policy, but it's not fully adjusted for Debian GIS yet.
> Great!  Any Vcs URL?

Not yet. It's a very early work-in-progress. I'll post a link to my git
repo once it's fully adjusted for Debian GIS, or just push a policy
branch to the pkg-grass website git repo. The current status is just
tidying up the XML syntax and replacing Debian Med with Debian GIS. I've
also forked the pkg-perl website and adjusted it for Debian GIS that
could serve as a new project page on Alioth instead of redirecting to
the wiki.

>>> The actual point I want to make when I was just sponsering librasterlite
>>> is, that Bas has set "Priority: extra" which is IMHO not a good idea at
>>> all and thus we have some explicit statement about the priority to
>>> choose[2].  If there are no good reasons I'd (strongly) recommend to
>>> settle with "Priority: optional" in all Debian GIS packages.
>> So far most Debian GIS packages use "Priority: extra", the QA checks are
>> a good reason to consider "Priority: optional" instead.
> Definitely.
>> Regarding the optional and extra priorities policy states:
>> "
>> optional
>>     (In a sense everything that isn't required is optional, but that's
>>     not what is meant here.) This is all the software that you might
>>     reasonably want to install if you didn't know what it was and don't
>>     have specialized requirements. This is a much larger system and
>>     includes the X Window System, a full TeX distribution, and many
>>     applications. Note that optional packages should not conflict with
>>     each other.
>> extra
>>     This contains all packages that conflict with others with required,
>>     important, standard or optional priorities, or are only likely to
>>     be useful if you already know what they are or have specialized
>>     requirements (such as packages containing only detached debugging \
>>     symbols).
>> Packages must not depend on packages with lower priority values
>> (excluding build-time dependencies). In order to ensure this, the
>> priorities of one or more packages may need to be adjusted.
>> "
>> An argument against using the optional priority is that I don't think
>> that GIS software is something "that you might reasonably want to
>> install if you didn't know what it was and don't have specialized
>> requirements".
> IMHO this is an expression of an unnecessary understatement.  The Debian
> archive is full of packages which are not for everybody.  Perhaps we
> might file a bug against policy for a better clarification.  I do not
> think that there is any practical case where a user says:  Please
> install all packages "priority: optional".  That's not how installation
> of systems work these days (it might have been in 1996 when I have set
> up my first Debian box).

My argument against priority optional was not meant as a blocker,
because I agree that it's a good idea in general. I do think that the
current wording in policy doesn't encourage to use priority optional
over extra in the case of Debian GIS packages. The "should" requirement
of not conflicting with other optional packages is bit discouraging, but
can be worked around by using Breaks/Replaces instead of Conflicts if
the conflict wording is to be taken literally. I also think that policy
should be updated to reflect the changed usage of Priority values, so
filing a bug against policy is a good idea.

>> I think it's a good idea to at least use "Priority: optional" for the
>> library packages to allow "Priority: extra" packages to depend on them
>> without violating policy.

What I meant to write here is to allow other priority optional packages
to depend on them. Libraries with priority extra could already be
depended upon by other priority extra packages, while priority optional
packages couldn't without violating policy.

> IMHO it is better to have all packages except *-dbg and metapackages
> in optional.  But since this discussion started over a library anyway
> please change it to optional and we can move on with the discussion
> while the package is in the queue.

As you've probably seen in the VCS activity, I've changed the priority
for the packages I'm involved with so far.

The proj package needs some attention, it's currently priority extra and
is a dependency of many GIS packages. To not violate policy with its
rdepends it should be changed to priority optional before GDAL and
friends. Version 4.7.0 is in the archive, and 4.8.0 is in git thanks to
Jerome Villeneuve Larouche.

Unless someone beats me to it, I'll look into updating PROJ.4 in Debian
after the SpatiaLite transition is done.

> Kind regards
>        Andreas. 

Kind Regards,


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