[Fedora-packaging] Conflicts in Core and Extras packages

Michael Schwendt bugs.michael at gmx.net
Tue Nov 14 11:02:02 UTC 2006

On Mon, 13 Nov 2006 07:08:36 +0100, Thorsten Leemhuis wrote:

> For those of you that are not on fedora-advisory-board find attached a
> discussion with Michael Schwendt on that list that IMHO falls in the
> area of the Packaging Committee. Could you guys please handle that? tia!
> If the Committee thinks some parts of this discussion is the area of the
> FESCo please notify me or that the PC members that are part of FESCo
> bring it over to FESCo. Also please try to get Michael involved into
> this discussion -- he seems to be interested in this so he's probably
> one of the best people to find a solution for the issue.

> But I don't think there is anything to do for FESCo *before* there are
> general packaging rules in the guidelines that clarify when Conflicts
> are allowed/acceptable and when not (for both Core and Extras). Further:
> Extras is no second class citizen -- if Core packages are allowed to
> conflict with other parts of Core then Extras packages should IMHO be
> allowed to Conflict with packages of Core, too. Sure, that should be
> controlled and I think FESCo in the future should approve each Conflict
> before it hits the repo.

If you had added these extra paragraphs to the original thread on f-a-b
list, I would have commented it with:

   "Why can't FESCO simply decide whether they want Fedora Extras
    to be free of package conflicts or not?"

Or rephrased:

   "Does FESCO want a full install of Fedora Extras and Core to be
    possible or not?"

About the thing referring to me, I don't like discussions that don't move
anything forward. So, let me add a few more comments to make my view
clear, hopefully:

At fedora.us we have had the bad habit of "abusing" clean-chroot-builds
done with mach for the possibility to have conflicting -devel packages,
e.g. for an old ABI and a new API of the same thing, never installed in
the same buildroot at once. Occasionally, it had been referred to as "lazy
packaging", to get something done (i.e. provide working and conflict-free
binary rpms) instead of spending extra efforts on preparing conflict-free
-devel packages just for an old API to possibly be obsolete an unknown
number of weeks later.

Only a very few (2-3?) such packages are still in Fedora Extras.

Long ago, for Fedora Extras, I believe we've agreed that Fedora Extras
shall be free of package conflicts. But this has never found its way onto
any policy page. You know what it's like with obvious stuff that is
considered common sense, it is hard to find somebody who spends time on
documenting it somewhere. So, A) package contributors don't know about
such a policy in case it still exists, B) Fedora Alternatives has been
killed early, and C) there *are* explicit package conflicts in Extras,
at least between Extras packages, and D) there are additional superfluous,
dangerous, and questionable conflicts in packages (sometimes probably
just old cruft, however).

The important question is at the top of my reply, though.

Beyond that, it can be decided whether packagers must add comments to
every "Conflicts" tag (and not just Conflicts, but also Obsoletes),
giving a proper justification.

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