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Re: Too many Recommends (in particular on mail-transport-agent)




On Tue, May 30, 2017 at 01:57:03PM +0200, Ansgar Burchardt wrote:
> Hi,
> 
> my impression is that too many packages use Recommends that should
> really be Suggests.  As a random example: installing dracut as a
> initramfs provider will pull in exim4... (dracut-core Recommends: mdadm
> which Recommends: default-mta | mail-transport-agent).  This seems
> really not ideal.
> 
> As a result many people seem to disable installing recommended packages
> by default.  I believe we should be much more agressive in downgrading
> dependencies to Suggests.
> 
> For example, very few packages should Depend/Recommend a MTA: if you
> just send notifications (like mdadm), you would need a properly
> configured MTA anyway or they just end up in a file nobody will ever
> look at (I don't see local mail to root as very useful).
> 
> I suggest that only very few packages should Recommend a MTA: packages
> that mainly deal with mail on servers in some way or another (for
> user-facing applications, speaking SMTP to a remote SMTP server is
> common enough that these shouldn't Recommend a MTA usually either).

I'm wondering if we should give the user more control over Recommends
or Suggests, either by having some kind of blacklist in APT, or introducing
some form of profiles, like build profiles.

Then you could say: By default, do not install .*-doc$ recommends or
do not install recommends in the doc profile. Or do install suggests
in the foobar profile.

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