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Bug#55167: ncurses-base obsolete, but essential

Package: apt
Version: 0.3.16

Konrad Mierendorff wrote:
> > You are about to do something potentially harmful
> > To continue type in the phrase 'Yes, I understand this may be bad'
> >  ?]
> I can't believe this one! Programm behavior like this really sucks!
> One of the many small details that make Linux more usable is the absence
> of such queries. Seems as if this is changing now.

You're missing a lot of history. Historically, the only way to remove an
essential package has been "dpkg --force-essential --remove foo". You could
not do it from inside dselect. Dselect remove methods probably just gave up
with something like:

dpkg: error processing bash (--remove):
 This is an essential package - it should not be removed.

Apt allows you to remove essential packages from inside dselect for the
first time. The prompt really isn't any different than dpkg's insistance on
--force options in some situations.

I do think that apt should be modified to omit the prompt if some other
essential package declares a conflicts (and perhaps a replaces too?) on the
obsolete essential package. Jason, the idea there is that we need *some* way
to allow obsolete essential packages (like ncurses-base) to be removed
without forcing everyone who upgrades to type in that sentance, and if the
maintainer of an essential package declares a conflicts, I think that is a
good indication that removing the obsolete essential package is safe.

see shy jo

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