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Old 01-20-2008, 05:28 AM
Ivan Shmakov
Default loosing dependencies: Depends: on logrotate

Since I've already started this thread, I'm going to ask for
opinions on the one more issue with the current (Etch, at least)
dependencies in Debian to bother me.

Is `logrotate' really necessary for those 46 packages or so in
Etch to include it in their `Depends:'?

Debian Policy reads:

--cut: www.debian.org/doc/debian-policy/ch-relationships.html--
The Depends field should be used if the depended-on package is
required for the depending package to provide a significant amount
of functionality.

The Depends field should also be used if the postinst, prerm or
postrm scripts require the package to be present in order to
run. Note, however, that the postrm cannot rely on any
non-essential packages to be present during the purge phase.
--cut: www.debian.org/doc/debian-policy/ch-relationships.html--

My opinion is that since `logrotate' is not required neither for
the maintainer scripts in order to run, nor ``for the depending
package to provide a significant amount of functionality', this
dependency should be either relaxed (to `Recommends:' or
`Suggests:') or discarded completely.

(And there're packages which provide a `logrotate.d/' file, but
don't list `logrotate' as a dependency. Among these are `dpkg'
and `apache2.2-common'.)

I've already discussed on this matter [1]. The reasons for
having such a dependency stated to me were, AIUT, as follows:

* ``packages should not facilitate users to shoot themselves in
the foot by filling up the logging partition';

yet there're a plenty of ways to do it whether `logrotate' is
installed or not; I expect for the software to grant me
freedom, not to revoke it in order to save me from but the
very dumb mistakes;

* since `logrotate' is `Priority: important', lightweight enough
and it ``is the standard log rotation mechanism in Debian
(including documentation in Debian policy)', it would be
there anyway, whether the dependency would be in place or not;

but Debian Policy, AIUI, only mandates that the Debian
packages must support `logrotate', not that the Debian users
must actually use it! and isn't the absense of `logrotate' in
the system a clear sign of that the user knows what he or
she's doing?

[1] http://bugs.debian.org/422968

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