Bug#479080: debian-policy: Policy '3.8 Essential packages' does not explain when/why essential is neccessary
On Thu, 05 Jun 2008 21:40:04 +0200, Giacomo Catenazzi <firstname.lastname@example.org> said:
> Steve Langasek wrote:
>> On Thu, Jun 05, 2008 at 06:25:14PM +0200, Giacomo A. Catenazzi wrote:
>>> Manoj Srivastava wrote:
>>>> Hi, On Fri, 02 May 2008 17:45:30 +0200, Carl Fürstenberg
>>>> <email@example.com> said:
>>>>> Policy section 3.8, about essential packages, doesn't explain
>>>>> when/why essential is neccessary, only that it should not be
>>>>> essential if it's not necessary.
>>>> My understanding is that a package is Essential if without it is
>>>> impossible to install any more packages to the system -- that is,
>>>> the package is required for proper functioning of dpkg. If my
>>>> understanding is correct, it should be easy to add in a line about
>>>> when packages can be made Essential.
>>> In addition "Essential" is also used not full dependencies with
>>> "obvious" packages. (Policy 3.5)
>> This is not part of the rationale for a package's inclusion in
>> Essential, it's an effect of a package's inclusion in Essential.
>> Packages should only be in the Essential set if they have to be there
>> to guarantee the operation of dpkg.
> I'm not so sure. Or better, I agree the first paragraph (a package
> will become "Essential" if it is need by dpkg), but I really think
> that the second part it is wrong:
> I don't think we should remove "easily" the essential status from a
> package. Packages expect essential package to be installed, without
> requiring dependencies, so a lot of package will broke on removal of
> some essential.
I think we can add wording that says that these criteria are
useful while trying to decide whether a package should be made
Essential or not. Once it is Essential, then all bets are off, and
packages are, in effect, never removed from the set, unless
extraordinary effort is undertaken by someone.
> I think policy should include a incomplete list of "essential"
> package, because of the "side effect" (no dependencies on essential
No, this decision should remain with the ftp-masters, not hard
coded into policy.
"Not Hercules could have knock'd out his brains, for he had none."
Manoj Srivastava <firstname.lastname@example.org> <http://www.debian.org/~srivasta/>
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