debhelper and friends for LTS
the jessie-backports removal itself is a logical step and it’s good that it was done.
That said, it complicates things a lot when backporting packages to Jessie. Usually, it’s fine to just pull $random extra library to the extra repository, but debhelper and friends is a different beast, as it often requires upgrades in steps, or pulling some extra packages or dropping them, etc.
This is now especially painful with the differences between debhelper compact 9/10 and 11/12 as those changes require reverting lots of tiny bits in the source packages as more and more gets converted to v12.
I don’t have a good solution for this, but keeping the debhelper and friends (dpkg-dev, dh_<foo>) in an extra suite would be very much helpful for people like me backporting bigger stacks to Jessie. I provide PHP (5.6, 7.0 and up), apache2, nginx, ... and it’s very painful from time to time.
(As a side remark, I would love to see Debian to settle on one way of maintaining packages, as packages in SVN or even without any SCM are also pain...)
Ondřej Surý <email@example.com>