tl; dr: You can now
sudo apt install ros-dev-tools
I’ve always been annoyed with the long list of dependencies that had to be installed in order to develop ROS software. Spurred by @mikeferguson 's tweet I finally tried to do something about it.
Skipping ahead, I proposed a change to REP 2001 to add new distribution-independent variants.
ros-dev-tools has the following dependencies:
ros-build-essential includes only the first four of these dependencies and is primarily targeted at build-farm infrastructure.)
Of course, defining the dependencies wouldn’t do anything if the infrastructure didn’t support it. That effort was spearheaded by @nuclearsandwich
The new variants are now part of the standard installation path in the documentation
Additional thanks to @clalancette and @cottsay for their efforts in this REP/implementation.