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Bug #395001 is currently giving me a headache. The OP is attempting to install Finch, a text-based instant messaging client, but is upset about the amount of dependencies that are being installed. When attempting to install it on my own server, the following packages listed below were installed. What's the purpose of all these packages in such a program? Is gstreamer included because it supports audio communication? The Finch user manual doesn't help much.

The following extra packages will be installed:
  gstreamer0.10-nice gstreamer0.10-plugins-base gstreamer0.10-plugins-good
  gstreamer0.10-x gvfs gvfs-backends indicator-application libaa1
  libappindicator1 libarchive1 libatasmart4 libavahi-glib1 libavc1394-0
  libbluetooth3 libcaca0 libcdio-cdda0 libcdio-paranoia0 libcdio10
  libcdparanoia0 libdbusmenu-glib1 libdbusmenu-gtk1 libdv4 libflac8 libgadu3
  libgdu0 libglu1-mesa libgnome-keyring0 libgphoto2-2 libgphoto2-port0
  libgssdp-1.0-2 libgstfarsight0.10-0 libgstreamer-plugins-base0.10-0
  libgudev-1.0-0 libgupnp-1.0-3 libgupnp-igd-1.0-3 libgvfscommon0
  libiec61883-0 libimobiledevice1 libindicator1 libjson-glib-1.0-0
  libmeanwhile1 libnice0 libntfs10 libogg0 libopenobex1 liborc-0.4-0
  libperl5.10 libplist1 libpolkit-agent-1-0 libpolkit-backend-1-0 libproxy0
  libpurple-bin libpurple0 libraw1394-11 libsgutils2-2 libshout3 libsilc-1.1-2
  libsilcclient-1.1-3 libsmbclient libsoup-gnome2.4-1 libsoup2.4-1 libspeex1
  libtag1-vanilla libtag1c2a libtheora0 libusb-1.0-0 libusbmuxd1 libv4l-0
  libvisual-0.4-0 libvisual-0.4-plugins libvorbis0a libvorbisenc2 libwavpack1
  libwbclient0 libzephyr4 mtools ntfsprogs obex-data-server pidgin-data
  policykit-1 policykit-1-gnome udisks usbmuxd
Suggested packages:
  libdv-bin gnome-keyring gphoto2 gtkam gstreamer-codec-install
  gnome-codec-install libraw1394-doc sg3-utils speex floppyd xfsprogs
  reiserfsprogs mdadm cryptsetup
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  finch gstreamer0.10-nice gstreamer0.10-plugins-base
  gstreamer0.10-plugins-good gstreamer0.10-x gvfs gvfs-backends
  indicator-application libaa1 libappindicator1 libarchive1 libatasmart4
  libavahi-glib1 libavc1394-0 libbluetooth3 libcaca0 libcdio-cdda0
  libcdio-paranoia0 libcdio10 libcdparanoia0 libdbusmenu-glib1
  libdbusmenu-gtk1 libdv4 libflac8 libgadu3 libgdu0 libglu1-mesa
  libgnome-keyring0 libgphoto2-2 libgphoto2-port0 libgssdp-1.0-2
  libgstfarsight0.10-0 libgstreamer-plugins-base0.10-0 libgudev-1.0-0
  libgupnp-1.0-3 libgupnp-igd-1.0-3 libgvfscommon0 libiec61883-0
  libimobiledevice1 libindicator1 libjson-glib-1.0-0 libmeanwhile1 libnice0
  libntfs10 libogg0 libopenobex1 liborc-0.4-0 libperl5.10 libplist1
  libpolkit-agent-1-0 libpolkit-backend-1-0 libproxy0 libpurple-bin libpurple0
  libraw1394-11 libsgutils2-2 libshout3 libsilc-1.1-2 libsilcclient-1.1-3
  libsmbclient libsoup-gnome2.4-1 libsoup2.4-1 libspeex1 libtag1-vanilla
  libtag1c2a libtheora0 libusb-1.0-0 libusbmuxd1 libv4l-0 libvisual-0.4-0
  libvisual-0.4-plugins libvorbis0a libvorbisenc2 libwavpack1 libwbclient0
  libzephyr4 mtools ntfsprogs obex-data-server pidgin-data policykit-1
  policykit-1-gnome udisks usbmuxd
0 upgraded, 84 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 17.4MB of archives.
After this operation, 58.0MB of additional disk space will be used.
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1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Finch is just a CLI for Pidgin.

It uses all the same backends and all of those need their dependencies filling. As such, a lot of garb you wouldn't be able to even use on a headless server gets pulled in.

I don't think there's a clean way around that short of formally separating the two projects and cherry-picking code from the pidgin backends and pulling that into Finch.

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