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

Andreas Thienemann <andreas bawue net> wrote:
> 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.

This whole "soft dependencies" idea has been discussed to death numerous
times already, and the conclusion has always been that they really don't
solve anything. There is a wide range of very different functionalities 
under this idea: Suggestions for additional packages that might be useful
for a tiny minority to packages that should be installed together always
except if you are extremely tight on space, packages that work well
together, packages that form a set with a common UI, ...
> But I think everyone is in agreement that we need soft dependencies in 
> order to sort out our current dependency mess.

Haven't seen any such. Care to explain?

>                                                It increasingly happens 
> that half the desktop is being pulled in for system services.

Then either the system services require too much "desktop" (bug to be
fixed, has nothing whatsoever to do with soft dependencies) or the desktop
is insinuating itself too much into the system (very little can be done
about this, GUIs and desktops and ... _are_ the primary use of current
systems, soft dependencies won't do anything about that tendency).

>                                                               Soft 
> dependencies, together with dlopen() might be a good way of solving this.

That doesn't solve anything, it just complicates applications (need
fallbacks when something isn't available, need to handle oldish versions,

> Therefore I'm wondering: Are there any better ways of solving this

File concrete bugs. Suggest alternatives. Keep complaining when a text-only
system requires GUI components.

>                                                                    and 
> when can we expect them? :)

Whenever you help fixing the bugs filed in the area ;-)
Dr. Horst H. von Brand                   User #22616 counter.li.org
Departamento de Informatica                    Fono: +56 32 2654431
Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria             +56 32 2654239
Casilla 110-V, Valparaiso, Chile 2340000       Fax:  +56 32 2797513

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