Subject: Re: RFC: new variable SUGGESTS, Part II
To: Dr. Rene Hexel <>
From: Jan Schaumann <>
List: tech-pkg
Date: 09/02/2002 22:33:23
"Dr. Rene Hexel" <> wrote:
>   - usefulness; I can't really think of any examples where
>     SUGGESTS would provide any added functionality over
>     meta-packages.

meta-packages are useful for packages that combine a whole bunch of
related things, such as kde3 or gnome.  However, we wouldn't want to
create tons and tons of meta-pkgs just to suggest that the user looks at
another package they might be interested in.

A few examples that I had in mind:

	a window manager that does not include keybindings.  Thus,
	virtually every user will want to use an extra keygrabber.
	Almost all blackbox users use wm/bbkeys, but there are other
	key-grabbers that would work equally well, thus, bbkeys can
	not be a dependency.  blackbox should suggest bbkeys

	there's a number of different application designed to work well
	with this windowmanager, commonly known as 'bbtools' (we have
	packages for bbweather, bbappconf, bbconf, bbpager, bbrun; there
	are many more).  blackbox could suggest them

PR pkg/17591:
	sysutils/amanda depends on X11, due to it requiring amanda-plot

	There is a meta-package, which includes all postgresql-packages.
	However, if one wants to only install postgresql-client, it
	could suggest postgresql-doc

	Could even suggest it's meta-pkg edesktop.

	Should suggest editors/xemacs-packages

	Could suggest urlview, procmail, gnupg

And so on, and so on.

There might be a package containing tests or benchmarks for another
package.  Obviously, there's no dependency, but the original package
could suggest the benchmarks.

The point being that it may be helpful for a package to just say "Hey,
this other package works really well with this one;  strictly speaking,
you don't NEED it, but you might want it."  Of course, every user can
just find out about these things on their own, but for convenience this
might be nice.

FWIW, Debian's apt-get/dpkg and Mac OS X's fink also have this feature.

>   - inflexibility; currently, TAKE_SUGGESTS is an
>     all-or-nothing decision you have to make.  You can't
>     just specify a number of packages that you want to
>     include (or exclude) from TAKE_SUGGESTS.  Again, I
>     believe that meta-packages already provide the
>     necessary flexibility here.

TAKE_SUGGESTS can be set to YES, NO, and ASK.  YES accepts all
suggestions, NO rejects all.  ASK makes 'make' ask for every single
suggestion.  Did you not notice the 'ASK' option?

Anyway, thanks for your feedback.  If this really is superflous, I'll
simply disagree and shut up. :)