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Bug#646697: Considering support for a "Refs: bug numbers" header in .changes files

Package: dpkg-dev
Severity: wishlist


from my experience with other issue trackers, I sometimes feel the wish
of adding a 'Refs: #nnnnnn' mention in debian/changelog that would post
about the upload in that bug without closing it.

Possible use cases for this: uploading dependencies for an ITP,
uploading a change that half-fixes another bug report, and generally
reporting progress when fixing complex issues that require a coordinated

The ITP case is probably not a good use case, since it could already be
handled by quickly creating ITP bugs for all the dependencies, setting
them as blocking the main ITP bug, and then closing them in the upload,
although there's quite a bit of latency involved in getting that done.

Better examples can be found among the kind of bugs assigned to
'general': something like #195481 or #601455 can benefit from receiving
mentions of related new features as they get uploaded to the archive.

The idea seems worthwile to me, but I've added X-Debbugs-Cc to
debian-devel to try and gather better use cases. If we do not get a
stronger case for this idea, at the current stage this bug can probably
be closed by saying "in order to do this, open a proper bug, set it as
blocking the one you want to Ref:, then just use a Closes: mention.

I'm filing the bug to dpkg-dev after discussion in #debian-devel, where
it was found that, for this to be implemented, dpkg-genchanges needs to
add a 'Refs: <bugnumbers>' field to the .changes file, which can then
easily be picked by dak and processed accordingly.

Thank you for your work on dpkg-dev!



-- System Information:
Debian Release: wheezy/sid
  APT prefers testing
  APT policy: (500, 'testing')
Architecture: amd64 (x86_64)

Kernel: Linux 3.0.0-1-amd64 (SMP w/4 CPU cores)
Locale: LANG=en_GB.UTF-8, LC_CTYPE=en_GB.UTF-8 (charmap=UTF-8)
Shell: /bin/sh linked to /bin/dash

Versions of packages dpkg-dev depends on:
ii  base-files    6.5                  
ii  binutils   
ii  bzip2         1.0.5-7              
ii  libdpkg-perl             
ii  make          3.81-8.1             
ii  patch         2.6.1-2              
ii  xz-utils      5.1.1alpha+20110809-2

Versions of packages dpkg-dev recommends:
ii  build-essential          11.5     
ii  fakeroot                 1.18.1-1 
ii  gcc [c-compiler]         4:4.6.1-3
ii  gcc-4.4 [c-compiler]     4.4.6-11 
ii  gcc-4.5 [c-compiler]     4.5.3-9  
ii  gcc-4.6 [c-compiler]     4.6.1-15 
ii  gnupg                    1.4.11-3 
ii  gpgv                     1.4.11-3 
ii  libalgorithm-merge-perl  0.08-2   

Versions of packages dpkg-dev suggests:
ii  debian-keyring  2011.08.07

-- no debconf information

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