Your message dated Fri, 11 Aug 2017 12:44:51 -0700
with message-id <>
and subject line Closing inactive Policy bugs
has caused the Debian Bug report #593177,
regarding Clarify when dependencies of pre-dependencies are satisfied
to be marked as done.

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--- Begin Message ---
Package: debian-policy
Severity: wishlist

Steve Langasek wrote:
> On Sun, Aug 08, 2010 at 07:27:44PM -0500, Jonathan Nieder wrote:

>> Except *new* dependencies of an upgraded pre-depedency may not be
>> present.  This is part of the philosophy behind pseudo-essential
>> packages generally using pre-depends for one release when they
>> acquire new dependencies.
>> Should I file a policy bug to clarify this?
> I think that would be a good idea, yes - thanks!

Consider a (hypothetical) scenario:

        x11-common pre-depends on debconf | cdebconf
        cdebconf 0.150 depends on libslang2 (>= 2.0.7-1)

cdebconf 0.150 is installed.  Version 0.151 depends on libslang3
instead of libslang2.  Time to upgrade.

 dpkg --unpack cdebconf_0.151.deb x11-common_1:7.5+7.deb libslang3_0.deb

 - The upgraded cdebconf is unpacked.

 - The upgraded x11-common is to be unpacked.

   As discussed in Bug#504880, since cdebconf was previously
   configured and has not been removed since then, x11-common’s
   pre-dependency is considered satisfied[1].

 - x11-common.preinst is run.  The updated cdebconf cannot even
   be started because its dependency libslang3.  Failure.

Therefore if your package might be used in preinst (e.g., if it is
debconf or pseudo-essential) then any new dependency for that
functionality needs to go in Pre-Depends for a short while.

Patch to follow once Bug#504880 settles down.

[1] For those following along at home, depisok() is called with last
argument true.

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--- Begin Message ---
control: user
control: usertag -1 +obsolete
control: tag -1 +wontfix

Russ Allbery and I did a round of in-person bug triage at DebConf17 and
we are closing this bug as inactive.

The reasons for closing fall into the following categories, from most
frequent to least frequent:

- issue is appropriate for Policy, there is a consensus on how to fix
  the problem, but preparing the patch is very time-consuming and no-one
  has volunteered to do it, and we do not judge the issue to be
  important enough to keep an open bug around;

- issue is appropriate for Policy but there does not yet exist a
  consensus on what should change, and no recent discussion.  A fresh
  discussion might allow us to reach consensus, and the messages in the
  old bug are unlikely to help very much; or

- issue is not appropriate for Policy.

If you feel this bug is still relevant and want to restart the
discussion, you can re-open the bug.  However, please consider instead
opening a new bug with a message that summarises and condenses the
previous discussion, updates the report for the current state of Debian,
and makes clear exactly what you think should change.

A lot of these old bugs have long side tangents and numerous messages,
and that old discussion is not necessarily helpful for figuring out what
Debian Policy should say today.

Sean Whitton

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