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Enabling Fast Track archive to "federate" with other archives

Hi Dak maintainers,

"Debian Fast Track is a repository that allows making “backports” of packages available to users of the stable distribution, if those packages cannot be maintained in testing and backported in the usual way. " https://wiki.debian.org/FastTrack

It is served using Dak.

There are some packages getting uploaded to fasttrack with Built-Using fields that refer to packages not in fasttrack itself (but are present in unstable, backports, etc).

As per a previous thread in this list https://lists.debian.org/debian-dak/2019/11/msg00003.html "dak should not rely on references to external archives which might no longer provide source or binary packages that your distribution's overlay still references." and I agree with this approach.

The same thread gives a solution using dak import that security archive uses.

Nevertheless, we discussed a bit about this on this issue: https://salsa.debian.org/fasttrack-team/support/-/issues/8 and I cannot help but think that it would have been great if dak can resolve Built-Using fields from different archives.

If I were to create a python wrapper similar to rmadison which is used to query these different archives, and in _add_built_using in daklib/archive.py use this wrapper to query other archives and raise an error only if no such source is present in other archives either; would that create problems down the line?

In this case, since the other archives are "trusted" (Debian's own archives), I think the problem of these archives no longer provider source or binary packages isn't really a concern.

Are there other issues? Perhaps software issues that dak might run into if I implement this feature?


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