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[Octave-bug-tracker] [bug #57522] "pkg unload" does not care for depende

From: Philip Nienhuis
Subject: [Octave-bug-tracker] [bug #57522] "pkg unload" does not care for dependencies
Date: Thu, 2 Jan 2020 19:30:04 -0500 (EST)
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; rv:52.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/52.0

Follow-up Comment #2, bug #57522 (project octave):

Yeah I probably uncovered a can of worms. Unloading a package doesn't happen
that often I think, so nobody has thought very deeply about it until now.
However, I had to due to other bugs/patches, and I encountered a maze of
issues all dealing with dependencies.

IMO a user should at least be notified if he/she wants to unload package "A"
but leave its depender "B" loaded. Currently there's no notification (warning
or error) at all.
To get this far (that is, before any of your points below) the reverse
dependencies first have to be detected. That is step 1. 

In addition to your point 1 (error and no unloading), we can:
* require the "-nodeps" flag to override unloading dependencies but not their
dependers. IOW leave the responsibility to the users.
That is not only my preferred solution for now, it also mimics what presently
happens when installing, uninstalling _*and*_ loading packages with the
"-nodeps" flag: the user should be explicitly aware of a possibly non-optimal

As outlined in my last but one paragraph, I think this is all fairly easy to
get together, and I think it can be done before a 6.1.0 feature freeze.
What should happen when unloading a pure depender (my point (1) relates to a
non-harmful situation and dealing with that can be postponed.

I'd agree that we can ask on the maintainers list what to do next, or if
anything needs to be done at all after the above.
I think any of your points 2-7 plus any others not mentioned yet will require
more intensive surgery of pkg.m than feasible until the 6.1.0 release. The
outcome could become something for Octave-7.x.x


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