RPM Weak Dependencies and the install media compose process

Stephen Gallagher sgallagh at redhat.com
Fri Jul 10 13:27:09 UTC 2015

On Fri, 2015-07-10 at 07:56 -0500, Michael Catanzaro wrote:
> On Fri, 2015-07-10 at 08:20 -0400, Josh Boyer wrote:
> > You didn't offer your opinion on which of the three options you 
> > think
> > we should go with.  I would offer option 1 is the one we'd pick. 
> >  It
> > honors the intentions of the package maintainer the best.  Which 
> > would
> > you choose?
> Option 2 is just weird. If a packager uses Suggests to express a
> dependency, that means the dependency should not be installed
> automatically. If packagers have to think "is my package installed by
> default and if so would it be bad to have this Suggested package
> installed as well," that's going to make Suggests much less useful.

These options describe what packages are on the install media, *not*
necessarily what is installed on the target system. (Though in the case
of Live media, I suppose the difference is academic). In any case, I
agree that this is a poor option and mostly included it for

> Option 3 would increase the need to manually add missing packages 
> that
> we actually want. For instance, we currently have evince-browser
> -plugin
> listed in comps for Workstation as a workaround for not being able to
> use Recommends in Evince's spec. If we go with Option 3, we'll need 
> to
> keep it there forever. If a package shouldn't be installed by default
> with another package, then Recommends should not have been used!
> I think Option 1 is the best, so that package maintainers don't have 
> to
> think separately about the difference between install media compose 
> and
> normal package installation..

Yeah, there's definite value to avoiding overcomplication, I suppose.

Perhaps Option 1) is a good solution as long as we test and verify that
in the kickstart file removes it properly (for cases where we want to
explicitly trim down size).

One thing that's been proposed in the past was to have documentation
moved into a Recommends: subpackage that we could then remove from
embedded or minimalistic installs. So I want to be able to keep that as
an option.
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