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Re: Annoying package dependence concept

Joe Emenaker <jemenake@lab.busfac.calpoly.edu> wrote:

> Yes it does. You can hit "Q" to force dselect to accept things as you
> have chosen.

Pressing "Q" causes dselect to momentarily forget about dependency
When installing the packages the user will certainly get lots of error
related to unresolved dependencies. Furthermore packages which caused
dependency problems are left unconfigured and the user can not configure 
them later using dselect.
Furthermore, when using dselect in the future the user can not check for
dependencies of other packages by pressing "Return" before leaving
the selection mode of dselect since this will cause to pop up all the
unresolved dependencies which he tried to override in the previous
forcing him to override them now again in a lengthy process.

In my opinion, pressing "Q" is not the way to go.

> Also, as someone else mentioned, you can always use dpkg.

Yes, dpkg allows to override dependencies. But the suggestion to
use dpkg instead of dselect to handle hundreds of Debian packages is
not worth to discuss.

> dselect, aside from being a more 'friendly' front end to dpkg, seems to do
> the following:
> [...]
> - half-heartedly attempt to enforce dependencies.

The dependencies itself are "half-heartedly".
The package maintainer thinks that ghostscript requires the ghostscript
so he defines a "recommend" dependency between these two. But the user
the fonts are not needed since he only wants to view pictures, so he
wants the
dependency to be at most a "suggest".

The basic problem is that package maintainers and users may disagree
when it comes to defining dependencies between packages.
And dselect doesn't provide a decent way to handle this situation.


Johannes Plass

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