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Re: no{thing} build profiles

* Russ Allbery <rra@xxxxxxxxxx> [181026 00:52]:
> I don't know why you would expect otherwise?  That seems entirely natural
> and expected given that Depends is a stronger relationship than
> Recommends, and therefore is naturally a subset of the things that would
> qualify as Recommends.

[As The Wanderer said, I was careful not to imply that the definition of
Depends could not be said to apply in this case.]

> You choose the strongest relationship that is applicable.

Actually, I contend that this last statement is incorrect.  If the
different dependencies are meant to provide a consistent and working
system, while allowing system administrators as much flexibility as
possible, you should choose the weaker relationship.

The use of the specific word "unusual" in the definition of Recommends
clearly indicates an exception that should be applied even if the
definition of Depends would otherwise apply.  If there are situations
where an admin would specifically want package A installed, but not
package B, even though A apparently does not provide significant
functionality without B, this seems to me to be exactly the reason for
the wording of the definition of Recommends, and it should take

Using Depends instead of Recommends actually _prevents_ the admin from
being able to choose.  Using Recommends means that in default
situations, the system works as intended; the admin must actively do
something to prevent the Recommends from being installed.  This might be
intentional or accidental; it might be because the admin configured Apt
some time in the past and wasn't paying attention when installing the
package declaring a Recommends, but it was an active choice on the
admin's part.

Saying "both definitions apply, lets choose the dependency that does not
give the admin any choice" is backwards.

If you think about why there seems to be a prevalence (at least
according to some) of configuring Apt to not install Recommends by
default, the first thing that comes to my mind is that there must be a
prevalence of inflating Suggests to Recommends and users don't like
that.  So now maintainers are inflating Recommends to Depends because
less experienced and/or less careful users are filing bugs resulting
from their own misconfiguration or lack of understanding.

This tendency leads in the wrong direction and is an abuse of the
dependency system.