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Untangling Debian package dependencies

The author of debtree, a program that illustrates dependencies between .deb packages, has posted a brief rant about the size of Gnome desktop installations in recent Debian releases. Specifically, he notes that a default Gnome install in Etch (4.0) was 1,360MB – but in the upcoming 6.0 release it’ll be over 3,000MB. More here

One Response to “Untangling Debian package dependencies” »

  1. Comment by Lee Winter — September 12, 2009 @ 12:24 am

    The issue of the Gnome feature set is extremely easy to resolve. Consider that a user who wants a particular feature knows what to ask for. So there should be a mechanism to get it.

    But a user who doesn’t want unnecessary features has no clue as to what needs to be purged. So there is no easy way to eliminate them without an enormous effort on the part of the user toward studying the combinatorics of the features and the dependencies (the rest of the iceberg).

    It would not be hard to define some (very few) useful sets of features such as , , and as long as there is a clear way to add pieces that the user wants to add.

    This is exactly the same problem that the package repository presents and needs exactly the same solution: let the user customize and make customization so easy that all users can do it.

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