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Bug#50832: AMENDMENT] Clarify meaning of Essential: yes

On Thu, Dec 09, 1999 at 01:11:12AM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> On Wed, Dec 08, 1999 at 09:58:38AM -0500, Ben Collins wrote:
> >>>>> I think this will make the dependency chain even more complex. I agree
> >>>> It doesn't actually do anything, it just documents existing caveats.
> >>> Actually it enforces existing caveats. It just seems to be side stepping the
> >>> real problem to me. Changing all the dependencies (removing essential status
> >>> to force other packages to dep on it) just seems like policy juggling, and
> >>> the actual problem is really more technical related.
> >> Erm. But there *isn't* a problem.
> > So the main issue is making people aware that essential packages need to
> > be in a usable state even when not configured?
> Exactly.

Ok, then the only complaint I have is the part that says to remove the
Essential status if it cannot meet the requirements of being usable when
unconfigured. In those cases, dpkg being able to have a check for
the status of the essential packages would be good (with a proper --force
to override the check). Removing the essential status would not solve the
problem since it doesn't change the functionality (and most likely every
package would have to depend on it in order for it to be safely marked

For example, if gzip (for some reason) becomes unusable until after it is
configured, then we have to remove its essential flag (according to this
proposal). Can you guess how many packages will now have to depend on it,
or better yet, which ones specifically?

/  Ben Collins  --  ...on that fantastic voyage...  --  Debian GNU/Linux   \
`     bcollins@debian.org  -  collinbm@djj.state.va.us  -  bmc@visi.net    '

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