Saturday, November 28, 2009

Dependencies - Shared libraries should be treated differently

I install a package and required dependencies are installed. The package manager may even ask me if that is OK for me. At least I agree without even looking except for the size of the download.

If I want the package, do I have a choice? How much information do I want?

I believe that shared libraries should be handled differently and should be translucent. Package management should highlight dependencies in packages other than shared libraries. We should be able to examine shared library dependencies provided we want to see details.

Treating shared libraries differently can have several advantages:
  • They could be implicitly removed if no package requires them
  • If a new package requires a different version of a shared library, it should be possible. It should not force an update of the existing library and a cascading upgrade of various packages.

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