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Re: Understanding "Depends: Package <= Version"

On Thu, 01 Dec 2005 21:36:35 -0500, "David A. Cobb" <superbiskit@cox.net> said:

> However, a number of Debian packages, notably OpenOffice.org
> Python-Uno, have a dependency "Depends: Python <= 2.4".  Now, if I

The line says: python (<< 2.4); not <=.

The python package is dependency package that depends on the default
version of Python for Debian.  The actual Python interpreters are in the
packages python2.3, python2.4, etc.

> parse that according to the usual human language rules, it says I must
> have an earlier Python; and it would be satisfied because I have both
> 2.3 and 2.4.

It says that you need a version of the package that is named "python"
that is less than 2.4.  This is independent of whether you have the
Python 2.4 (which is in the package named "python2.4") installed.
Presumably, this is because the package named "python" has a symlimk
from /usr/bin/python to /usr/bin/pythonX.X, and python-uno depends on
/usr/bin/python pointing to the right place.

> But 'apt' evidently interprets this as though it said: "Conflicts:
> Python >= 2.4" and is UNSATISFIED because of the presence of my 2.4.

The presence of the python2.4 package, which is where the python
interpreter is, will not cause any problems with this dependency.  The
only thing that matters is the version of the package that is named
"python".  Run "dpkg -l python" to see what version of that you have
installed.  If it has version >= 2.4, then this obviously does not
satisfy the dependency for python (<< 2.4).  Since only one version of
any single package can be installed at a time, the only way to resolve
this dependency is to install the python package with the correct

> Along with my "English language" interpretation, it would seem strange
> that the presence of a newer package which does not directly conflict
> with the older is not likely to break an application.

> Is this a bug in apt?  If so, is it a known bug?

Hubert Chan <hubert@uhoreg.ca> - http://www.uhoreg.ca/
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