[Distutils] tracking requested vs dependency installs in PEP 376 metadata

Carl Meyer carl at meyerloewen.net
Thu Oct 8 21:41:44 CEST 2009


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Toshio Kuratomi wrote:
> Note that Linux distributions have discussed this for ages and it's not
> always as useful as a naive first thought would imply.  For instance, there
> are often many scripts written by a system administrator (or a user) that
> might need to have a module installed.  This is not to say that it's a bad
> idea to record this information -- there could be some installers for
> specific use cases might find it useful or that it could be useful with
> confirmation by the user.

Sure, I'm aware of these issues, and didn't want to get too deep into
implementation choices of (un)install tools. But it seems clear that
under some circumstances it could be useful to have a record of which
packages were installed "intentionally."

> Also note that a package manager should be able to tell required status from
> what is currently installed.  So it might make more semantic sense to record
> what was requested by the user to be installed instead of what was required
> by a package.  (When something is both required by a package and requested
> by a user, the user request is what takes precedence.)

Clearly my terminology choice was poor. REQUIRED in my proposal meant
"requested by name by a user" (which has to be recorded at install
time), not "required as a dependency by other installed packages"
(which, as you say, can be calculated at runtime). Would REQUESTED, or
AUTO_INSTALLED (with the sense flipped) be better options?

Carl
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