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Re: What constitutes a package for Policy

On Tue, Feb 03, 2004 at 11:23:11PM -0600, Adam Majer wrote:
> Hi,
> I need clarification on what a package is. For example, the policy 
> states (2.2.1):
>    In addition, the packages in main
>     * must not require a package outside of main for compilation or 
>       execution (thus, the package must not declare a "Depends", 
>       "Recommends", or "Build-Depends" relationship on a non-main package),
> The first mension of package is clear. But what does this mean?
>   "must not require a package outside of main"

It means that it must be possible to build and install the package (and have
it work!) without anything but packages in "main" ever being installed.

> For example, a jikes has a Recommends as follows:
> Recommends: jikes-sablevm | jikes-gij | jikes-classpath | jikes-kaffe | jikes-sun
> Now, all of these packages, but jikes-sun, are in main (or will be once
> uploaded). Does jikes satisfy the policy? Does the policy refer to "a
> package" as "jikes-sablevm OR jikes-gij OR ..."
> OR
> does it mean "jikes-sablevm AND jikes-gij AND ... " ?

Point 1 - It's "Recommends". Therefore, it doesn't matter. You can
Recommend *anything*, even stuff that is so non-free that Debian doesn't
distribute it at all (though it would be better to Suggest it unless there
are free alternatives; see point 2).

Point 2 - As long as *at least* one of a set of alternatives is free and
in main, what the rest are does not matter. See, for example, the common
dependancy of "exim4 | mail-transport-agent", where at least a couple of
things that Provide: mail-transport-agent are in non-free.

Point 3: This looks like a good place for a virtual package. Then you could
simply write "Recommends: jikes-sablevm | jikes" (or whatever other default
jikes implementation you want to use, though good taste would recommend it
be one of the free ones...)
Joel Baker <fenton@debian.org>                                        ,''`.
Debian GNU/NetBSD(i386) porter                                       : :' :
                                                                     `. `'

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