Jon wrote:

> Things always get weird as one's installed distribution gets crusty.
> My Fedora Core 27 installation recently started whining about conflicts
> between nmh and vi.  Surprised me.

Here's why:

1) nmh depended on /bin/vi
2) vim-minimal recently changed what it provides from /bin/vi to /usr/bin/vi

The even-more-recent fix was to change the nmh dependency from /bin/vi
to /usr/bin/vi.

That nmh package is currently in testing if you want to get it
from there.  If you'd like to help expedite nmh's (1.7.1) passage
through the testing process for the benefit of users on Fedora 27,
please click under the green +1 button and then the "Add Comment &
Feedback" button on:
https://bodhi.fedoraproject.org/updates/FEDORA-2018-05bd7b4801

> I don't know if anybody has given any thought as to what should be a
> dependency and what shouldn't.

The decision to add Fedora nmh dependency on vi was made over 12
years ago.  I didn't make it, but I agree with it (and I set
Editor in my profile, and EDITOR, and VISUAL to something other
than vi).  It minimizes the configuration required by a user in
order to use nmh.  If a user wants a different configuration, they
can easily change it.

> Seems to me that dependencies should
> be things necessary to build, install, and run (libraries) a program.

Note that build (BuildRequires) and run-time (Requires) dependencies
are separate for this purpose.

> Of course, I could be completely off base here if vi is actually used
> as part of the build process.  But that would seem weird to me too.

Right, vi is a run-time dependency, not a build dependency.

Ken wrote:

# we have to fall back to SOMETHING, and I think vi is a reasonable default.

Especially because vi is POSIX.

David

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