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Re: Depends: awk -- Is that required?

On Wed, Nov 09, 2005 at 06:43:51PM -0700, Bob Proulx wrote:
> I need a clarification because I am confused.  If I have a script that
> uses awk do I need the package to "Depends: awk"?  Or is awk like
> basename where we are able to assume it is on the system without any
> explicit dependencies?

> I see that many packages do "Depends: awk".  But awk is an alternative
> and mawk is "Priority: required" so I would not think so.  But gawk
> provides awk and is "Priority: optional" but with a higher alternative
> priority too and so that "required" mawk is almost never used.  (I
> always install gawk as awk for its better features.)

> If the package used gawk specific features then the decision would be
> easy.  It would need to depend upon gawk.  But it only uses basic awk
> features and so any of the alternatives is sufficient.

> Thanks for you knowledge in this.

awk is "virtually essential": it can't be Essential: yes because that would
prevent removing mawk in favor of gawk, but awk is a dependency of another
essential package to ensure that you can use basic awk functionality without
having to depend on it.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
vorlon@debian.org                                   http://www.debian.org/

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