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Old 07-10-2012, 04:55 PM
Ben Hutchings
 
Default Recommends for metapackages

On Tue, Jul 10, 2012 at 04:39:10PM +0000, Sune Vuorela wrote:
> On 2012-07-10, Gergely Nagy <algernon@balabit.hu> wrote:
> > No. Only if installing recommends is turned on, which cannot be
> > guaranteed.
>
> There is many ways to break your system. turning off installation of
> recommends is one of them.

Quite.

> That said, recommends is not to be used for metapackages. with
> metapackages you want to ensure *what* the user has installed.

I don't see that at all. Metapackages are a convenience for
administrators and installer developers, not a shortcut for package
developers to determine what the user has installed (e.g. they don't
usually specify versionded depedencies). As already pointed out,
'gnome' does recommend and suggest some packages that are not strictly
required.

Ben.

--
Ben Hutchings
We get into the habit of living before acquiring the habit of thinking.
- Albert Camus


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Old 07-10-2012, 05:20 PM
Nikolaus Rath
 
Default Recommends for metapackages

Gergely Nagy <algernon@balabit.hu> writes:
> For the cases where one wants to have most of the stuff installed that
> the meta-package would pull in, but not all, solutions already exist.

What solutions do you mean?


Best,

-Nikolaus

--
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Old 07-10-2012, 05:24 PM
Nikolaus Rath
 
Default Recommends for metapackages

Gergely Nagy <algernon@balabit.hu> writes:
> But, to cut the story short, attached to this mail is a script you can
> use to take any metapackage, and remove (or demote) any of its
> dependencies. It echoes a control-file thingy, combining it with equivs
> is left as an excercise to the reader.

If I'm not mistaken, that means that the demoted dependency will get
pulled in again on the next upgrade of the metapackage, or that I have
to put the metapackage on hold and will loose any demotions and
promotions of other packages in future metapackage versions.


Best,

-Nikolaus

--
»Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a Banana.«

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Old 07-10-2012, 06:01 PM
Jonas Smedegaard
 
Default Recommends for metapackages

On 12-07-10 at 06:34pm, Abou Al Montacir wrote:
> On Tue, 2012-07-10 at 18:10 +0200, Jonas Smedegaard wrote:
> > The very purpose of a meta-package is to _ensure_ that a certain set
> > of packages is installed, not just recommend them: All (not only
> > most) users of that package need all its dependencies satisfied -
> > those that don't should simply uninstall the meta-package.
>
> Exactly! And as confirmation see below you will see gnome recommending
> and even suggesting, which is probably fine:

[lots of more or less unrelated package dependencies snipped]

> The most logical is that gnome-core does not depend on
> network-manager-gnome but the gnome package do. Indeed, experienced
> users will install gnome-core and select the rest manually.

I disagree: Looking at the many other dependencies of gnome-core, it
clearly isn't meant as "smallest possible GNOME setup" but more
"essential parts of what the upstream GNOME project has to offer" - as
its package description also clearly reflects.

When I want "smallest possible GNOME setup" i install gnome-session.


- Jonas

--
* Jonas Smedegaard - idealist & Internet-arkitekt
* Tlf.: +45 40843136 Website: http://dr.jones.dk/

[x] quote me freely [ ] ask before reusing [ ] keep private
 
Old 07-10-2012, 06:15 PM
Jonas Smedegaard
 
Default Recommends for metapackages

On 12-07-10 at 07:35pm, Eugene V. Lyubimkin wrote:
> On 2012-07-10 18:10, Jonas Smedegaard wrote:
> > The very purpose of a meta-package is to _ensure_ that a certain set
> > of packages is installed, not just recommend them: All (not only
> > most) users of that package need all its dependencies satisfied
>
> My definition of meta-package is less strict than yours. I as user
> sometimes want '[meta]package X, but without packages Y and Z', and
> your definition absolutely rules that out.
>
> I saw many questions on forums like
>
> "I did '$packagemanager install $metapackage' and then after
> '$packagemanager remove $singlepackage', why $packagemanager now wants
> to remove all $metapackage?"
>
> , so I know I'm not alone.

As users we play around with the possibilities of the Debian system, and
not always get it right. Sometimes we misunderstand parts of the system
design wrongly and do not enjoy the full potential of Debian for ages,
until learning more - and often parallel to that Debian improving to be
more clear in its intended use.

You being alone does not make you right.

A package manager wanting to remove all dependencies of a meta-package
is quite sensible - when you understand the sense of it. Until then it
is utterly confusing.


> Using Recommends for non-core parts of
> metapackages' dependencies would nicely solve that.

...but I disagree that making meta-packages more elastic is a "nice"
solution: is a hack covering over misguided users. Possible solutions
could be improved documentation and improved design of package managers.


- Jonas

--
* Jonas Smedegaard - idealist & Internet-arkitekt
* Tlf.: +45 40843136 Website: http://dr.jones.dk/

[x] quote me freely [ ] ask before reusing [ ] keep private
 
Old 07-10-2012, 07:07 PM
"Eugene V. Lyubimkin"
 
Default Recommends for metapackages

On 2012-07-10 20:15, Jonas Smedegaard wrote:
> On 12-07-10 at 07:35pm, Eugene V. Lyubimkin wrote:
> > On 2012-07-10 18:10, Jonas Smedegaard wrote:
> > > The very purpose of a meta-package is to _ensure_ that a certain set
> > > of packages is installed, not just recommend them: All (not only
> > > most) users of that package need all its dependencies satisfied
> >
> > My definition of meta-package is less strict than yours. I as user
> > sometimes want '[meta]package X, but without packages Y and Z', and
> > your definition absolutely rules that out.
> >
> > I saw many questions on forums like
> >
> > "I did '$packagemanager install $metapackage' and then after
> > '$packagemanager remove $singlepackage', why $packagemanager now wants
> > to remove all $metapackage?"
> >
> > , so I know I'm not alone.
>
> [...]
> You being alone does not make you right.
>
> A package manager wanting to remove all dependencies of a meta-package
> is quite sensible - when you understand the sense of it. Until then it
> is utterly confusing.

As someone who developed a high-level package manager for Debian from
scratch (including the autoremoval functionality) I'm pretty sure I
understand the sense of it. My message was: users who don't (yet)
understand the full picture, find that behavior confusing, and it takes
time to explain. Moreover, despite me understanding the picture, I still
has no clean, safe and documented way to do what I'd want in case the
package maintainer chosed Depends.

Next, I don't pretend I'm "right", I do pretend there are >= 1 person
who don't need all dependencies of the metapackage installed, and hence
your 'All [...] users of that package need all its dependencies
satisfied' clause is wrong. You can argue that it's not right for Debian
to support that use case, that's fine.

> > Using Recommends for non-core parts of
> > metapackages' dependencies would nicely solve that.
>
> ...but I disagree that making meta-packages more elastic is a "nice"
> solution: is a hack covering over misguided users. Possible solutions
> could be improved documentation and improved design of package managers.

... And I disagree with that. No solution can override policy's "all
Depends must be satisfied". If one choose to support the "exclude from
metapackage" one either has to change the policy, remove packages from
Depends or use non-stock metapackage (which I personally don't like).

--
Eugene V. Lyubimkin aka JackYF, JID: jackyf.devel(maildog)gmail.com
C++ GNU/Linux developer, Debian Developer


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Old 07-10-2012, 07:08 PM
Andrei POPESCU
 
Default Recommends for metapackages

On Ma, 10 iul 12, 18:43:03, Gergely Nagy wrote:
>
> During the past ~14 years I've been using Debian with that setting
> turned off, nothing ever broke on my systems because of this setting. If
> it does, then I'll consider that a bug and report it appropriately.

Depending on how you do the package selection on your next installation
you might end up with rsyslog, but without logrotate[1].

This is just one example of ways to break your system by not installing
recommends.

[1] which makes sense, given that the admin may want to use rsyslog with
remote logging.

Kind regards,
Andrei
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Old 07-10-2012, 07:12 PM
Noel David Torres Taño
 
Default Recommends for metapackages

> "Eugene V. Lyubimkin" <jackyf@debian.org> writes:

[...]

> "Recommends

>

> This declares a strong, but not absolute, dependency.

>

> The Recommends field should list packages that would be found together

> with this one in all but unusual installations."

*

...packages that would be found together with this one in _all_ but unusual installations.

*

I think this is exactly the relationship between gnome and n-m: they are found together in all but unusual (e.g. people that manages their own interfaces, and that is not strange, but also not the majority of debian user base) installations.

*

Regards

*

Noel Torres

er Envite
 
Old 07-10-2012, 07:16 PM
Noel David Torres Taño
 
Default Recommends for metapackages

> "Eugene V. Lyubimkin" <jackyf@debian.org> writes:

[...]

>

> Well, in case of GNOME, upstream considers n-m to be part of the core

> system, to the best of my knowledge. If upstream does so, so should we.

*

No. That's why we have our own distribution instead of just a collection of unpatched packages compiled from source.

*

Debian patches do not only include security or functionality bugs. They include also design bugs.

*

Regards

*

Noel Torres

er Envite
 
Old 07-10-2012, 07:21 PM
Andrei POPESCU
 
Default Recommends for metapackages

On Ma, 10 iul 12, 22:07:10, Eugene V. Lyubimkin wrote:
>
> ... And I disagree with that. No solution can override policy's "all
> Depends must be satisfied". If one choose to support the "exclude from
> metapackage" one either has to change the policy, remove packages from
> Depends or use non-stock metapackage (which I personally don't like).

One solution proposed some time ago was to have package managers mark
packages depended on as manually installed, whenever the user choses to
uninstall only one package depended by meta-pacakge.

IMVHO Recommends makes more sense for packages that are not strictly
required, but maybe package managers should gain a
"Install-New-Recommends" option defaulting to true?

Kind regards,
Andrei
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