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Bug#879197: autopkgtest: Please support @testdeps@ i.e. subset of @builddeps@ marked with <!nocheck>

Martin Pitt:
> Hello Ximin, all,
> Ximin Luo [2017-10-20 12:23 +0200]:
>> These days one is able to mark build-dependencies that are needed to run tests
>> by annotating the Build-Depends with <!nocheck>.
>> It would be nice to support a @testdeps@ syntax for Depends: in autopkgtest as a
>> convenience alias for all of the Build-Depends that are marked with <!nocheck>.
>> This helps to avoid duplication and makes it easier to maintain.
> <!nocheck> is rather fuzzy.  There is neither a policy nor a reason to require
> that *all* test-only dependencies must be marked that way, and this can never
> work as some test dependencies are often *also* "real" build dependencies.
> Also, these are by no means exhaustive - it's not uncommon to only mark the
> "expensive" dependencies with that and let some subset of tests run with the
> remaining available packages.
> Also, this term is already being used for the package's actual (autopkg)test
> dependencies.
> As a compromise, I could live with calling this @!nocheck at . This makes it much
> clearer what it actually means, and avoids potential confusion. But for the
> first reason above I still don't like this much, to be honest.

Your concerns make sense, and I'd be happy with the new name that mentions the Build-Profile name specifically.

With this more specific name, I think it's OK even if !nocheck does not have a globally-specified meaning, since the autopkgtest itself is also chosen on a per-package basis. That is: if my package A uses <!nocheck> in a non-standard way and I use it in the same way in d/tests/control, it does not really affect other packages.

Also maybe it would be good to support arbitrary profile tags, it's much more general and doesn't seem it would take much more effort than only supporting @!nocheck at . In that case, perhaps the syntax would better also include a prefix, like @profile-tag:XXX@

> OOI, is that for an individual package, or a whole group of packages? In the
> latter case, using autodep8 might be a better solution?

This is just for one package (reprotest) but I thought it would be useful for other packages as well.


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