[aur-general] [arch-general] Please settle 'base' in 'depends' for all

Xyne xyne at archlinux.ca
Fri Jan 21 07:38:39 EST 2011

Cédric Girard wrote:

> It means then that if we have this (dependency are direct dependencies):
> - Package A: depends=(B C)
> - Package B: depends=(C)
> C should *not* be removed from the dependency array of A.

I agree with this. A package should list as its dependencies any package on
which it directly depends, and only those packages.

There is no need to create a "core" group for dependency resolution, e.g.
one that would include the kernel and other necessary packages for a minimal
system.* Those aren't direct dependencies, as the chroot example shows. Of
course, any package that e.g. requires kernel headers should to list
linux-api-headers as a dep, even if it is a dep of glibc and generally assumed
to be on the system.

The argument that some packages are guaranteed to be on the system and thus
checking for them is just a waste of time is a bad one. Checking assures
correctness of the dependency graph, and the overhead is negligible because if
the package is installed, as it almost always will be, then all pacman has to
do is check that the package is listed in the local db, which probably amounts
to testing for membership in an internal hash or list of less than 1000

If everyone were to use implicit dependencies then pacman would fail because no
package would specify the required dependency. A rule that would break the
system if it were followed by everyone is a bad rule. Expecting some to follow
it and others not to and just hoping that everyone will keep working is
simply bad practice. It's not minimalist... it's just lazy.

* It might be useful to have a group that install a minimalist system and
  pacman, i.e. the smallest package set that can boot to a prompt and let the
  user install packages.

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