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Bug#214059: debian-policy: Section 2.2.1 unclear on whether Suggesting non-main packages is OK

On Sat, 04 Oct 2003 10:30:15 +0200, Per von Zweigbergk <pvz@linux.se> said: 

> Package: debian-policy Version: Severity: normal

> Recently, a bug report was aimed at the tvtime package -- and we
> seem to have uncovered a section in which Debian Policy is not
> entirely clear.

> Bug report #213512 suggested that we should Suggest libdscaler,
> which is in contrib, in tvtime, which is in main.  However, Section
> 2.2.1 of the Debian Policy is unclear on this point. I quote:

> [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)

	So, it explicitly tells you what is not allowed.

> The literal interpretation of this that it is permissible, but I

	That is correct.

> think it could be clarified further. It is currently plausible to
> interpret the enumeration of dependency fields in Section 2.2.1 as
> merely a clarifying example (i.e. "including, but not limited to"),
> rather than a complete list.

	You can never get policy to the point where it is not
 confusing to absolutely anyone. In this specific case, policy
 explicitly tells you what is disallowed; in general, anything that is
 not prohibited by policy is allowed, and anything not explicitly
 required by policy is up to the discretion of the developer.

	In general, policy is not exhaustive; it only mentions things
 required, or prohibited. Changing this stance would require a major
 rewrite, and a far larger policy document, and further constrain
 developers needlessly.


"We learn from history that we learn nothing from history." George
Bernard Shaw
Manoj Srivastava   <srivasta@debian.org>  <http://www.debian.org/%7Esrivasta/>
1024R/C7261095 print CB D9 F4 12 68 07 E4 05  CC 2D 27 12 1D F5 E8 6E
1024D/BF24424C print 4966 F272 D093 B493 410B  924B 21BA DABB BF24 424C

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