does mc really require perl*?

Chris Adams linux at
Wed Sep 11 15:11:12 UTC 2013

Once upon a time, Miroslav Suchý <msuchy at> said:
> On 09/11/2013 04:39 PM, Michael Cronenworth wrote:
> >Is there a bug opened for this enhancement?
> >
> >I know it has been talked about for years, but nothing has come out of mailing list discussions. A quick BZ search
> >turned up nothing.
> You are correct! To my surprise.
> But this can be easily fixed:
> Lets watch this :)

The problem is that many (most?) programs won't handle this well.  For
example, how does mc handle having its perl scripts installed but
non-functional?  If it is a graceful failure (an error message that
tells you what to do), then maybe a soft dependency would be okay.  If
you just get a meaningless "it failed" message (or worse, mc breaks,
crashes, etc.), then a soft dependency would not be a good thing.

In addition, the package managers need some way later to easily install
uninstalled soft dependencies, so when mc doesn't work, someone can just
say "add what's needed", rather than end-users having to hunt down what
is really required to make the external scripts work.

Anything that results in more bugs being reported in Bugzilla will not
be used by packagers.  If soft dependencies existed, and mc used them,
the mc packager would most likely stop using them if there were a bunch
of "I get perl error" bug reports.

There's a lot of work needed to make soft dependencies work "right", and
it isn't all that clear that they'd really be useful in a wide variety
of cases.
Chris Adams <linux at>

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