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




On Sun, Jun 11, 2017 at 11:16:23AM -0700, Russ Allbery wrote:
> Ivan Shmakov <ivan@xxxxxxxxxxx> writes:
> > 	That’s Abstract Syntax Notation One (or ASN.1), and while I use
> > 	it all the time (notation, that is; not this specific library at
> > 	the moment), I see no reason for a -dev package to depend on a
> > 	-doc one any stronger than with a mere Suggests:.
> 
> We have some specific Policy about this:
> 
> https://www.debian.org/doc/debian-policy/ch-docs.html#s-docs-additional
> 
>     If package is a build tool, development tool, command-line tool, or
>     library development package.  [...] package should declare at most a
>     Recommends on package-doc.
> 
> If you feel that this should cap the dependency at Suggests across the
> board, feel free to submit a bug against debian-policy.  It seems at least
> worth a discussion.  Note that this does tend to make upstreams pretty
> unhappy, though, since they get questions from confused Debian users who
> don't know how to find the documentation that they're "supposed" to have.

No, when taken alone, -dev packages Recommending -doc is just right.  There
are very limited cases when you're writing code for a library's API but
don't have an use for its primary documentation.  A person who downloads
the source to mess with the code you've written is also well served by
having the docs available.  On the other hand, the buildds have no use for
documentation (no human in the chroot), and here our policies again work
fine.

The problem is only, once again, with transitive dependencies.  I don't use
libtasn1-dev directly, it's merely required by one of libraries I'm using.

This one isn't a good example (399KB is negligible), but we have some
dependency chains from hell elsewhere.


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