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Package dependencies

On Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 10:38:13AM +1000, Chris Angelico wrote:

> Those concepts are fine for concrete packages. My MUD client Gypsum,
> if I were to package it as a .deb, would Depend on Pike and GTK, would
> Recommend the latest Pike (if it's possible to depend on one version
> and recommend another), and probably wouldn't have any Suggests. But
> with meta-packages, how does that work? "Standard graphical desktop"
> definitely requires some things (like a desktop environment,
> obviously), but what about all those pre-installed programs? Are they
> Recommends or Suggests?

I don't think you can have a Depends on one package version and
Recommend another, but you can Depend on a package without any version
requirement, or with =, <, >, <=, >= version requirements. The
dependency system for meta-packages works the same as it does for real
packages. In wheezy, looking at the gnome meta-package, the only
package I would say is a genuine Depends: would be gnome-core,
everything else should be a Recommends: or less. Instead of having
dependencies like "libreoffice-writer | abiword" and "libreoffice-calc |
gnumeric" there could be an office-suite virtual package that gnome
could recommend or suggest.

Once you get to things as vague as "Standard graphical desktop" you can
use virtual packages, and you could have the desktop meta-packages have
a "Provides: graphical-desktop" or some such (I'm not entirely sure how
virtual packages work), but then you might have to be careful about
potential toolkit issues.


Trying to establish voice contact ... please ____yell into keyboard.

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