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Re: Policy wrt Important (was Re: dc and bc in Important?)

On 25 Jun 1997, John Goerzen wrote:

> OK, then I suspect the policy is at fault.  (BTW, I checked it out and
> I did find dc and bc on SunOS -- I had not known these programs were
> on other OSs.)

Yes, bc and dc have been very standard on most kinds of Unices for a very
long time.  And being able to do math on the console is indispensable for
those of us who don't wear HP 48GX's around our necks.

> By the current definition of Important:
>  * Sendmail should be there instead of smail since people expect
>    sendmail

Sendmail is not a user-level program; i.e., it is very seldom that a user
invokes it directly.  Furthermore, I believe it is the case that the
/usr/sbin/sendmail that ships with smail is argument-compatible with

>  * dpkg-dev should not be there since no experienced user of another
>    Unix would expect it

No, but it's very important for a Debian Linux distribution.

>  * lilo should not be there because lilo is not part of UNIX

No, but it is usually important for Linux distributions in general. You
would like to be able to boot your Unix clone, wouldn't you?

> And:
>  * gcc should be in Important because everybody expects a C compiler
>  * libc5-dev should be there because everybody expects working
>    header files
>  * make should be there, I expect a working make in any Unix
>  * lpr should be there, it is standard with just about any Unix
>  * netbase and netstd should both be there, they are standard
>    on Unix
>  * csh/tcsh should be there (again, standard on various Unices)

I am tempted to agree with most of these, but I think the policy developers
also have to balance space demands against this.

> Basically, it seems that this policy doesn't quite apply correctly.

Perhaps it should be clarified.

G. Branden Robinson
Purdue University

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