Subject: Re: audit on pkg DEPENDS needed ?
To: Robert Elz <kre@munnari.OZ.AU>
From: Bill Sommerfeld <>
List: tech-pkg
Date: 11/23/2000 14:44:33
> Another example of this is the dependency of lesstif upon lynx.   As best
> I can make out, the only purpose of this is so some htmp doc can be
> converted into plain text.  The lesstif configure script seems to work
> just fine without lynx - it tests for it, and seems to know how to
> avoid using it if it doesn't exist.   So, is the dependency really
> required, or is it just one of the "this will do better if this package
> is also present, so let's require it".

this is a hard choice to make, because often it's a "will the package
be full-featured without this dependancy".  Also, there's the matter
of reproduceability of binary packages -- if the package builds
differently when something else is installed, then the binary package
will be different depending on what was installed on the system which
built it -- and might not run when installed elsewhere because of a
missing dependancy -- so for the sake of the package maintainer's
sanity, you're better off declaring the dependancy.

Perhaps there should be a type of "soft dependancies" which can be
suppressed by the impatient..

					 - Bill