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Re: suggestion: build-blockers field in control file

* peter green <plugwash@p10link.net>, 2011-11-29, 19:23:
Some packages have runtime dependencies on packages that they do not have corresponding build-dependencies for. This leads to the building of uninstallable packages which in turn leads to problems with testing transition of packages.

Currently there are two workarounds for this situation

1: manually alter the package's architecture list to limit building to those architectures where runtime dependencis
2: add an artificial build-dependency

Neither is ideal, the first must be manually undone if and when the dependencies do become available. The second is an abuse of the build-depends field (the package isn't REALLY needed for building) and causes pacakges to be unnessacerally installed in build environments (both on autobuilders and for those manually building the package) wasting time and network bandwidth.

I therefore propose a new control field for source packages "build-blockers". Autobuilder management systems should generally treat build-blockers the same as build-depends but the systems that actually do the building do not need to take any notice of them.

It doesn't sound completely crazy, but I doubt that implementing such field is worth the trouble. How many packages would benefit from it? Do you have any concrete examples?

Jakub Wilk

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