Please exercise more care (testing packages both build and install)

Sarah Hobbs hobbsee at
Sat Sep 27 04:21:37 BST 2008

Good afternoon developers, on this fine and sunny afternoon!

Recently, my attention was pointed to bug #273015 [1], about a
metapackage being uninstallable.  On closer inspection, this turned out
to be a merge request, actioned 9 days ago.

Also on closer inspection, it turns out that at least two of these
metapackages are not installable.  One of these was clearly never
installable, due to depending on a package that does not exist in
Ubuntu, at all.  I see no request for a sync of the non-existant
package, nor any record of it in launchpad.

Consequently, I must ask whether these were even test built.  They
certainly weren't all checked for installability, as the errors would
have become immediately obvious.  [2]

I also note that this merge was done by a universe contributor, and
sponsored by a MOTU.  While I do not wish to particularly shame the
people involved for making the error, I do feel this is a good reminder
for everyone, whether they are writing patches, or sponsoring them, or both.

Consequently, I'd like to remind all universe contributors, MOTUs, Core
Developers, Sponsors, and anyone else submitting and actioning patches,
to check that their resulting packages build, and install, before
uploading.  Feature freeze is a time where we're attempting to stabilise
the archive - so should not be introducing more breakage.

For those of you who use pbuilder to build packages, please note that
there are pbuilder hooks that will test installability for you.  This is
vaguely mentioned in our guide [3], and more thoroughly in the Pbuilder
Users Manual [4].  Sbuild may have similar features, but I do not use it

Have a great weekend!


(On behalf of the Ubuntu Release Team)


2. When installing gnome-office:
The following packages have unmet dependencies:
  gnome-office: Depends: abiword-plugin-goffice (>= 2.6) but it is not
E: Broken packages
'rmadison -u ubuntu abiword-plugin-goffice' returns nothing - ie, no
such package.

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