I have an extension i created that modifies core attributes. I want to make sure it is installed after all magento core modules. Is there a way i can use the depends node in my app/etc/modules/*.xml file to set the extension to be installed last? or do i have to include every core module inside it?

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You need to include in the <depends> node the modules that you actually modify.
I doubt you modify something in the tables of all modules.
If you modify a product or category attribute include <Mage_Catalog /> if you modify a customer attribute include <Mage_Customer /> if you modify an order column include <Mage_Sales />...you get the point.
The order you use for the depend modules is not important.

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