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The Debian System -- Concepts and Techniques The Debian System -- Concepts and Techniques
Martin F. Krafft Open Source Press / No Starch Press ISBN 3-937514-07-4 / 1-593270-69-0
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Debian bug tracker adds dependencies (page 532)

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Reported on: 2005-08-12

In chapter 10. Documentation and resources on page 532:

The debbugs maintainers are on a roll and have added the ability to block bugs with other bugs. "Blocking" is the official term, though the concept may also be described as "bug dependencies." More information is available in this blog entry by Anthony Towns, and this one by Joey Hess.


When a bug A is blocked by another bug B, it means that A cannot be fixed until B has been addressed.

Take a quick look at #320867, which requests the removal of a transitional package. This package must not be removed while other packages still depend on it. Bugs have been filed against the depending packages to update their dependency information (and to get rid of the reference to the transitional package), and those bugs block the aforementioned bug against the transitional package. That is, as soon as the transition is complete (and all depending packages have been updated, and their bugs closed), the bug against the transitional package can be addressed and closed too.

At the moment, records of blocking bugs disappear from the report of the blocked bug when these bugs are closed. In the future, there will likely be some indication about blocking bugs that have since been resolved, instead of just removing every mention thereof.

Blocks registered with the new block control command are advisory only. This means that a block will not actually prevent a bug from being closed. It has not been decided whether blocks will in the future prevent a bug from being closed.

Bug blocks have been a long awaited feature which should help even more to streamline the release of future Debian versions.


Joey Hess and the debbugs team

Linux User & Developer, February 2006, p. 93f.: The Debian System does a great job in sticking very closely to a tight remit, and only covering generic areas such as networking and security where the Debian way impacts on configuration.


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