pkg-config: required as dep so often - How and where to report?
- Date: Fri, 04 May 2018 15:48:26 +0200
- From: Alexander Traud <pabstraud@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: pkg-config: required as dep so often - How and where to report?
To compile a (quite large) project, I had to install several packages
(dependencies). The project required the tool pkg-config. However, that
was not mentioned anywhere. Still the project compiled/built, because
one of the other dependencies (libsrtp2-dev) installed pkg-config as
side effect. So, I had pure luck that it succeeded.
When a package declares another package as "Depends" or "Recommends" in
the file "control.in", it gets installed as side effect (Debian Policy).
However, libsrtp2-dev needs pkg-config only when I compile it myself.
Consequently, pkg-config should be declared just as Build-Depends. This
is a minor bug, I am going to report with that package. However then, I
investigated a bit more and found seven (optional) dependencies of that
project which would have installed pkg-config as a side effect too. OK,
this is a bigger issue. Then I investigated further:
$ apt-cache rdepends --no-suggests pkg-config
On Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, this gives me 250 development packages (-dev)
which install pkg-config as a side effect.
$ apt-cache rdepends --no-recommends --no-suggests pkg-config
Still 186 packages.
Those packages come with a .pc file. However, the tool pkg-config should
be "suggested" and not "required". Yes, this is a minor issue. However,
this looks like a broad issue. How and where do I report something broad
like this? Is there somebody which takes over or do I have to report
this 250 times? Perhaps this qualifies even for an update of the
Debian Policy like adding an example: pkg-config should be maximum of
"Suggests" when .pc file exists, even when "Build-Depends" included
Or am I on the complete wrong track and this is not even a minor bug?