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Bug#758234: transitive dependencies


Bill Allombert:
> What I do not understand is, how this affect debootstrap ?
Debootstrap (by default) fetches everything-in-important, and then adds any
un-satisfied dependencies which these packages need.

Installation variants instead get everything-in-mandatory,
plus e.g. apt and build-essential, and then add dependencies.

See e.g. /usr/share/debootstrap/scripts/lenny, work_out_debs(),
plus /usr/sbin/debootstrap:564 and following.

> For me priority are purely metadata provided by the override file.

Yes they're purely metadata. The Override file was once required
because our tools didn't do any dependency handling whatsoever,
and waiting for a priority update in a bunch of packages was even
more busy work (and also much too slow).

Right now, the Override file is IMHO pure busy work, and the vast majority
of its entries is redundant (i.e. identical to the package's metadata).
IMHO we don't need it at all.

> Policy does not require software to use them in anyway, I think.
Policy isn't just an abstract requirements specification. It also codifies
the data which our tools expect. Thus, since debootstrap et al. need
priorities and "simple" dependencies to do their work, Policy needs to
reflect that.

In principle we could replace the whole priority thing with three
metapackages, but that's something to be explored _after_ releasing …

-- Matthias Urlichs

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