[arch-dev-public] Discussion about optional dependencies

Allan McRae allan at archlinux.org
Tue Jul 19 01:13:22 UTC 2016

Hi all,

We need to have a discussion about optional dependencies.  I am going to
use virtualbox as an example, because of the 10 bugs and counting caused
by people not seeing the change in dependency to run the gui.  However,
this is just the latest in the list of such issues.

So lets look at the optional dependencies:

Optional Deps   : qt5-x11extras: GUI support
                  vde2: Virtual Distributed Ethernet support
                  virtualbox-guest-iso: Guest Additions CD image
                  virtualbox-ext-vnc: VNC server support
                  virtualbox-sdk: Developer kit
                  net-tools: Host-only or bridged networking support

The optional dependency of note here is "qt5-x11extras: GUI support".,
which is needed to run /usr/bin/virtualbox. That is the primary "binary"
of the virtualbox package.  My opinion is the primary binary for a
package should run out of the box.  If you really need to reduce
dependencies, then a split package should be considered.



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