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It's not like any user actually knows - it's never explained. They are just 'optional' or 'suggested' - that doesn't help the user in me ;). (or anyone else but the packager).
If it's some library enable a feature in an app.
Install it when the feature is neeeded(=enabled/needed) - and hide the boring software management.
Like automatic codec installation ;).
Software should only be managed by sysadmins. Nobody else cares.
A possible change of direction for Foresight Linux
Posted Aug 16, 2009 14:56 UTC (Sun) by tzafrir (subscriber, #11501)
1. Allowing a package to "depend" on packages not in the repository.
2. "Unimportant" dependencies will be the first thing dropped to save space.
Package management tools tend (e.g.: usually default to-) install "Recommend" type of dependency by default unless it causes a conflict or some other problem.
Posted Aug 17, 2009 0:28 UTC (Mon) by Cyberax (✭ supporter ✭, #52523)
Another example, several packages suggest Avahi as a dependency which makes a perfect sense for desktop users (i.e. you probably want to install Avahi if you install NetworkManager), but makes little sense on the server (I _do_ _not_ want Avahi if I install lib32nss).
So in practice, DEB-based distributions are nicer to work then RPM-based ones. Though RPM is getting somewhat better, a few years ago most RPM distributions were a junkyard of broken packages.
Posted Aug 17, 2009 15:51 UTC (Mon) by vonbrand (subscriber, #4458)
This is exactly the wrong way around: The GUI requires the daemon, not the other way.
Besides, what use is a bare "suggestion" to a plain user? If they know their way around the system, they'll know what they need (or can live without), if they don't, they will have to find out somehow.
The slur that "most RPM distributions were a junkyard of broken packages" was never true. What happened is that there are lots of RPM-based distributions around, and thus all sort of people tried to force-install packages from one on the other, with the obvious ensuing breakage. What saved .deb from this wasn't any technical superiority of the package format, but the simple fact that there was essentially only one distribution using it. If a distribution is a junkyard of broken packages or not is a distribution engineering issue, not remotely a package-management-format problem.
Posted Aug 17, 2009 16:07 UTC (Mon) by martinfick (subscriber, #4455)
I find it very helpful when I install a package to have apt suggest packages that might be useful along with a package I am installing. It is a huge advantage to not have to always research things, but to simply be able to say, sure, "I'll try that too"; or "no thanks", I don't need support for "ldap, X...". It is not a dependency, just a suggestion.
And not all GUIs require their daemon anyway, the daemon might be running on some other host(s).
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