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Re: no{thing} build profiles

* The Wanderer <wanderer@xxxxxxxxxxx> [181026 08:38]:
> On 2018-10-26 at 00:51, Russ Allbery wrote:
> > You choose the strongest relationship that is applicable.
> I'm not sure that's clear from the given definitions, nor that it should
> necessarily hold. Is there any statement which would make that explicit?
> I haven't noticed one in a quick look through Policy 7.2, but it's
> entirely possible that I've just missed it.
> Two mutually-exclusive "should"s cannot be simultaneously true.
> I suppose, on consideration, that this boils down to me being a grumpy
> pedant about language - which isn't necessarily helpful in a discussion
> that's more related to technical merits... so on that basis, unless
> someone chimes in to agree with me that this is worth pursuing, I expect
> to drop the subject. (At least for purposes of this thread.)

My argument for using Recommends over Depends is not based on language
pedantry, but partially on what I believe is the "best" interpretation
of the current definitions, and much more on what I believe is best for
both Debian users and the Debian distribution.  I do believe that the
current wording of Recommends should explicitly be interpreted as giving
an exception to the definition of Depends.

I have not been trying to use the wording of policy as a stick with
which to beat maintainers into submission (I would not want to, nor
would such an effort be successful), but as evidence that the early core
Debian team had a very good understanding that not every dependency
relationship was cut and dried, and that it was important to give as
much latitude to the administrator as possible, while still providing a
working system in the default case.

> That's especially true since, now that I'm awake enough to think of it,
> the simplest (albeit not the most elegant) way to address the problem I
> see would be to revise the Recommends definition to something like
> "packages for which Depends does not apply, but which would be found
> together with this one in all but unusual installations" - and that's a
> moderately clunky construction, which smacks enough of pro-forma
> boilerplate to seem inappropriate for this sort of context.

I think that is going backwards.  Recommends should say that if there
are reasonable situations, even if they are unusual, to install one
package without the other, Recommends should be preferred over Depends.