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Possible bash related release goal


recently there has been a discussion about bash's essentialness on
-devel.  After writing a related mail to the release team, one of its
members suggested to discuss this on this list.

There were concerns about wasting developer time on this, just to make
live of a few (for example, embedded) developers slightly easier.
I agree that there should not that much resources on this be spent, on
the other side, a few things that are easily doable might be worthwhile.

There are different levels how far work in this direction could be done
(the later ones include the former ones):
 1. Remove bash from all preinst and postrm scripts and from all
    essential packages + apt.  Exceptions: bash itself and preinst if
    the package pre-depends on bash.
 2. Remove bash from all other packages in base.
 3. Make all dependencies on bash explicit.
 4. Start removing useless bash dependencies, as described in a mail in
    the recent thread.

The first and the second one sound reasonable to me, as they do not
require many packages to be changed and the changes should be trivial in
nearly all cases.  This would ease dropping bash from minimal
installations, although this wouldn't be supported officially.

The third one could partly be done on best effort basis using
debhelper[1].  All related bugs outside of base would have severity
wishlist and maintainers would of course be free to ignore such bugs.
If done early, we would just need to wait how things evolve over time.
If there are just a few packages left, the remaining missing
dependencies could be added by hand.  Otherwise, we could consider this
for a later release.

I don't see the point in blindly removing useless bash dependencies from
all packages in the archive.  Those who want to avoid bash won't install
a fully featured desktop environment anyway.  What could be useful, if
the third point is already done, is making packages installed on most
systems, e.g., the kernel, grub-pc or apticron free of easy to remove
bash dependencies.


 [1] It would need to check if postinst, prerm or any file in /{,s}bin
 or /usr/{,s}bin contains an bash shebang line.  Additional directories
 to check include /usr/share/bug/.  If found, it would add bash to

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