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Re: further package removals/potential package removals

On Sat, 22 Jan 2005 21:39:28 -0500, Jeff Johnson <n3npq nc rr com> wrote:
> "dependency clutter" presumes that dependencies are arbitrarily designed to
> decrease the quality of your life.
> That is not the case.
> Instead ...
> ... nautilus "needs" samba much likes it needs just about every other
> bleeping library
> in FC4. Why? Because users want "features", and features requires
> implementations,
> usually in libraries, which use sonames, which are copied into package
> dependencies.

Taking a quick peek at the specific nautilus issue raised. The
nautilus's rpms dependancy on the package samba-common is actually the
result of an explicit requires for 'gnome-vfs2-smb.'  and not a hard
library dependancy.

gnome-vfs2-smb package requires samba-common through a library dep
However,  nautilus requires gnome-vfs2-smb though an explicit requires
on gnome-vfs2-smb, a decision made by the packager to ensure that the
runtime detectable smb support is always available when nautilus is
installed to provide a perfectly reasonable and recommended default
behavior for the average gnome desktop user.  Some would argue doing
this is bending the purpose of 'requires' field out of necessity  to
be used as a 'suggests' or 'recommends' field which rpm doesn't yet
have support for.

I was able to rebuild nautilus with the explicit requires on
gnome-vfs2-smb turned off, which allowed me to remove samba-common
without removing a cascade of gnome components. I did this just as a
double-check to make sure my reading of the deptree was correct.
samba-common now requires the removal of: authconfig-gtk, firstboot,
gnome-vfs2-smb and samba-client.

Clearly this is an example of the tension between providing reasonable
default/recommended featureset and providing a measure of flexibility
for more advanced users and system admins to control which run-time
detectable features are available on their systems.    If rpm had a
'suggests' or 'recommends' tag which could be used for such
recommended but runtime detectable options, that would change the
dynamic of this tension greatly.  But I am unqualified to comment on
whether or not the flexibility gain worth the effort to implement this
in rpm.  I will say that I can imagine situations where corporate
network admins might not want to have the smb support in their  linux
desktop installs, so maybe there is a compelling business interest for
red hat to make it easier for those network admins to decide whether
they need that gnome-vfs2-smb feature on the system without
recompiling nautilus for themselves.


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