[Guidelines change] Changes to the packaging guidelines

Jerry James loganjerry at gmail.com
Fri Jul 10 03:42:06 UTC 2015

On Thu, Jul 9, 2015 at 6:44 AM, Matthew Miller <mattdm at fedoraproject.org> wrote:
> On Wed, Jul 08, 2015 at 08:13:58PM -0500, Jason L Tibbitts III wrote:
>>  * https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Packaging:WeakDependencies
> Awesome -- thanks, FPC! This is really exciting.

That is exciting!  Thanks to everyone involved in this effort.  May I
suggest a few small tweaks to the wiki page, though?

First, what is a hint?  Does that word refer collectively to all weak
dependencies?  The wiki page doesn't say, so I'm left to guess.  The
final sentence of the "Hints" section implies that it is something
different, but later uses of the word "hint" imply otherwise.  If it
does refer to all weak dependencies, then I think the page would be
much clearer if all uses of the word "hint" were replaced by "weak
dependencies".  If that is not what the word means, then a definition
in the introduction would be very helpful, since there is no
definition anywhere on that page.

Second, there are some typos in the "Package Preference" section.
Change the following:
"a older" -> "an older"
"poption" -> "option"

Also, in the final sentence of the "Package Preference" section,
change the arrow to a comma.

Finally, the entire "Forward vs Backward Dependencies" section is
worded rather awkwardly and contains several grammar and punctuation
errors.  May I suggest replacing it with this text?  (Note that I
don't know what "best" means in the first paragraph, so I left that
word alone.  A definition of "best" would be helpful, also.)

Forward dependencies are evaluated for each package that is installed,
just like strong dependencies.  The best of the packages that fulfill
the forward dependencies are also installed.  If a transaction will
install packages that fulfill reverse dependencies, then the packages
containing those dependencies are also installed.

In general, forward dependencies should be used in preference to
reverse dependencies.  Reverse dependencies are mainly designed for
use by third party vendors who supply plug-ins, add-ons, or extensions
to distribution packages or other third party packages.  Within
Fedora, cooperation between package maintainers can eliminate the need
for reverse dependencies, as all weak dependencies can be added as
forward dependencies in the main package.  However, there are cases
where it is easier for the main package maintainer if add-ons use
reverse dependencies instead.  If the main package maintainer agrees
to allow the use of reverse dependencies, they may be used in Fedora.

Note, that EPEL or other third party repositories may have (and are
encouraged to have) a different policy.

Jerry James

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