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Re: [NEW IDEA] Automatic removal of dependencies

On 4/27/06, Callum Lerwick <seg haxxed com> wrote:
> Grasping at straws, eh? If firefox supports mathml and needs
> mathml-fonts to display properly, then perhaps firefox should be
> depending on mathml-fonts. Or at least putting up some kind of message
> like "This page cannot be displayed properly, you need mathml-fonts".

"need" and "optional" are distinct concepts. The point he's trying to
make is that a package which is a hard package requirement may in fact
be useful in other context than those explicitly encoded by the
limited range of relationships which can be encoded in an rpm package.
 Just because a user did not explictly request a particular package
when installing something else does not mean that the dependacy does
not itself have value to the user.

By automatically removing things that were not placed on the system
explicitly, with no other attempts to check as to whether the files in
those packages are being used outside the bounds of the strict
"requires" packaging dependancy relationship, all you end up doing is
creating situations where users have to go back and explicitly
reinstall those items... a pointless waste of time which puts more
demands on the user to know exactly which package does what.

Automatic removal of dependancies can not be done without human review
as to which of those packages are still locally needed, and I think
its far more appropriate to expect users who want to clean up their
system to do that review before items are removed than it is to
automatically remove deps and expect users to review which items
should be put back on the system to keep the functionality they

-jef"look on the side of the road, a dead horse! Let's go over there
and beat it!"spaleta

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