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"Can't compile from source" bugs

It is widely acknowledged that an important bug should be filed against
packages that will not compile from source.  I recently received a bug report
against rrdtool (#77536) because recent changes caused it to no longer compile
on potato.  This spawned a discussion with the bug submitter () as to whether
or not the bug deserved its severity.  The bug in question has been solved, but
the question remains:

Are packages in unstable expected to compile on stable, and if they don't, is
this an important bug?  How far are package maintainers expected to go to
maintain source compatibility with stable?

 - mdz

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