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Re: [NEW IDEA] Automatic removal of dependencies

On 4/21/06, Leon <sdl web gmail com> wrote:
> Basically they want to divide packages (of course installed by package
> manager; those installed using source, the user has to track
> themselves) into two groups: one is installed by the user (explicitly
> 'yum install') and the other is those required to satisfy the
> dependence.

Oh i get it..  and what I'm saying is I think you under-estimate how
difficult it will be to robustly use automatical removal of
dependancies marked for autoremoval without causing problems with crap
that is not tracked by the package management system.  I think you
underestimate how often people install tools that were part of an
automatically included dependancy which end up being used in scripts
that were written locally that are not tracked in the rpm system.
Little perl scripts, little shell scripts, little python scripts,
little php scripts. Hell anyone running any sort of website with php
enabled is most likely running some sort of not rpm managed php junk
that is in fact configured to exec other binaries, binaries which may
be marked as an indirect dependancy of some other package which would
be removed via the automatic dependance removal feature.

> Ubuntu put this *high* priority for the next release after
> dapper. After reading its wiki page, it make sense to me. And I
> believe it will be useful.

Sure it will be useful to some segment of the userbase I don't dispute
that. What I think that it will also be a huge problem when people
start turning that feature on and they see tools their homebrew
scripts needed start disappearing on a large scale.  I guess time will
tell.  I hope for the sake of Ubuntu users the people who implement
this provide a cookie-cutter way for a local admin to exclude certain
packages from the autoremove pool to prevent random script breakage.
Or even better they provide a tool which can audit
perl,python,ruby,php,shell scripts that are not being managed by the
package management system before autoremovals of deps happen.

-jef"Oh look I dont really need the sysstat package installed.. I'll
just remove it from my system. Oh look sysstat is the only think which
explictly needs the vixie-cron package. Hey look vixie-cron is marked
as something that package manager can automatically remove because it
was not an explicit application that I ask to install, it was pulled
in by sysstat at install time. Oh crap my cron system was removed..
now none of my per-user cron jobs run. Yippie for ease-of-use software

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