[Fedora-packaging] easing external software installation - discussion

Patrice Dumas pertusus at free.fr
Tue Jan 13 21:49:27 UTC 2009

On Tue, Jan 13, 2009 at 01:35:59AM +1100, David Timms wrote:
> Hi (again),
> It seems the preferred solution is to use comps groups (yet I don't  
> think that they can solve the needing i386 libs on x86_64 problem).

I don't think so. A meta-package looks like a right technical solution
to me for your issue.

> - It has been suggested that if such a group was committed, "a line  
> would form to revert the change".

Agreed. A comps group for the dependencies of a proprietary (or free) 
software is not right in my opinion.

> - It suggests that Fedora somehow supports the external software. This  
> might allow fedora users to expect solutions to problems in the external  
> software.

This is really a weak argument.

Also there are packages in fedora, for example libflashsupport to support
proprietary software. So the argument about not helping with proprietary 
software is moot. As long as it is free software it is right.

However I think that meta-packages that are not associated with a given
package should be discouraged in fedora. Some specific meta-package only
can be accepted, for example 'basesystem' is somehow a meta package,
also meta-packages for hardware support when one don't know which precise
driver should be used seem right to me.

But random meta-packages are not acceptable in my opinion. This opens 
the door for arbitrary convenience packages, I don't think this is
something we want. After that I will want a meta-package to be able to
get the dependencies of a numerical model, maybe?


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