[pacman-dev] Alternative dependencies.
xyne at archlinux.ca
Fri Dec 10 12:14:11 EST 2010
Dan McGee wrote:
> > The basic usage case is when an application is capable of detecting any one of
> > a number of different external apps that it can use to satisfy a given
> > dependency. There is currently no way to depend on "at least one" of those.
> You went abstract here- how many real packages would benefit from this
> sort of thing at the moment? What are they?
Well, a concrete example would be pbget, which checks for both curl and wget,
although that's not what led me to ask. I wrote a script yesterday that does
the same thing (checking for wget or curl)  and it made me wonder about how
that could be generalized. I can't think of any other real examples right now
but I know that this has come up before.
Another likely example would be "libarchive || tar" when either bsdtar or tar
could be used.
> > So, would that be possible?
> > Also, would that be acceptable?
> Possible yes. Acceptable- I don't have any serious objections. The
> only thing that comes to mind is the likelyhood of abuse as a
> replacement for provides, when that is the better facility to express
I agree that it could be abused but they are clearly separate use cases and it
would "simply" be a matter of enforcing policy: If both packages contain a
standard library or application that can be used agnostically by another
package then they should use "provides". If not, then use the alternative
As for the "need" for this, I would say that it's something which could
facilitate different cases and that if it were available then it would get
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