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RPM Soft dependencies (Was: Re: Agenda for the 2009-05-26 Packaging Committee meeting)

On Sat, 30 May 2009, Panu Matilainen wrote:

> Apart from some mostly cosmetical issues, the problem with the soft 
> dependency patches of Suse (which Mandriva uses too) is not so much what 
> they do, but what they dont do. I've been on the verge of committing the 
> patches several times and got stuck in the semantics swamp as many times. 
> The Suse patches only define "rpm doesn't care" semantics, leaving 
> everything to upper layers. Which seems kinda ok at first sight, but on a 
> closer look I always end up with "but rpm does need to know, to some 
> extent at least."

Your example explains why the current SuSE way of doing soft dependencies
is not the best way of doing it.

But I think everyone is in agreement that we need soft dependencies in 
order to sort out our current dependency mess. It increasingly happens 
that half the desktop is being pulled in for system services. Soft 
dependencies, together with dlopen() might be a good way of solving this.

Therefore I'm wondering: Are there any better ways of solving this and 
when can we expect them? :)


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