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




Simon McVittie <smcv@xxxxxxxxxx> writes:

> If there is a best set of Recommends for inexperienced users, and a
> best set of Recommends for experienced users who value minimality, then
> we should err in the direction of supporting the inexperienced users,
> precisely because those are the people least likely to be able to use
> package managers to get a particular feature that they want.

Yes, this.  Experienced users can also turn off installation of
Recommends, so I think the focus should be on making things work "as
expected" for people who don't want to understand the details.

There's also a huge difference, given this criteria, betweeen wasted disk
space and running daemons.  I think the latter is worth trying to track
down; the former seems largely futile to me.  All of the disk space gains
you might conceivably get from, say, removing the recommeds on
libmail-sendmail-perl from po-debconf will be dwarfed by minor changes to
the documentation of some other package on your system, or some new
feature in some standard library.

> If some "wasted" disk space on typical systems is the price we pay for a
> feature working on the first attempt, rather than an inexperienced user
> giving up before they can get that feature to work, or simply not
> knowing that the feature is even possible, then that seems a worthwhile
> price to pay.

Amen.

>>> libgnomeui-0: xscreensaver
>>> * BAD: Gnome users won't run xscreensaver

>> What?  The hell they won't.

> This one *is* obsolete though - not xscreensaver, but libgnomeui-0.
> libgnome and libgnomeui were deprecated sometime during the GNOME 2 era,
> and for stretch the GNOME team has finally managed to exclude them from
> a default desktop installation (task-gnome-desktop), but unfortunately
> there are still more than 50 packages using them.  The GNOME team would
> be delighted to see that number go down.  The libgnome* libraries help
> you to integrate with a desktop from around 10 years ago that we no
> longer ship, and are not part of modern GNOME; their high-level
> functionality has mostly been superseded by code in GLib and GTK+.

Ah, good call.  So this one really should be a bug report.

https://bugs.debian.org/864310 -- please feel free to weigh in and correct
me if I got any of the details wrong.

-- 
Russ Allbery (rra@xxxxxxxxxx)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>