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buildd timeouts


(not 100% sure whether this is the right list for this, but anyway)

Buildd has a 'feature' to check for a very specific type of hangs in
builds, where the build would produce no output for a certain amount of

Personally, I've started to question the usefulness of this 'feature'.
In all the years that I've been a buildd maintainer, I cannot remember
a single instance where the timeout hit because the build did actually
hang; but I can remember _lots_ of false positives. And since a loop
usually does produce output every few seconds, I can remember a few
false negatives.

Since a false positive will usually kill a build that has been running
for hours and hours already (the (insufficient) default of 300 minutes
is already 5 hours), this would mean that a false positive is a very
painful matter, since a build which needs a long amount of time to build
(and which *has* already taken quite a while to get at the point where
it was killed) needs to be redone.

In other words, I feel that the timeout code is doing more harm than it
is helping. Wouldn't it be better if we would just drop the timeout

Fun will now commence
  -- Seven Of Nine, "Ashes to Ashes", stardate 53679.4

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