Re: I'm new to Debian
I am going to reply to you directly and on the list, let me know if
you prefer not to be cc'd.
On Oct 1, 2007, at 11:29 PM, Sarah Connor wrote:
I'm new to contributing to Debian, and given that I work with Perl
on a regular basis I'm hoping to contribute in perl-related ways at
One of the best places to start is here: http://pkg-
perl.alioth.debian.org/ That link has all the contact information
and documentation in one convenient location, bookmark it. :-)
Then, once there, click on the last link on the page, called
"subversion.html". It explains how modules from CPAN get put into the
debian subversion repository. You will likely want to get an account
on alioth if you haven't already, it is needed if you want to inject
code into the repository, of course you can check out code
anonymously. The subversion tool is how one "uploads" one's work,
i.e. new modules, or a new package of an old module.
Much of what needs to be done is listed here: http://pkg-
perl.alioth.debian.org/qa/versions.html That link is called "Work
in progress or Todo. Once you click on it you will see a list
produced by some perl magic that goes through the repository
collecting info and then spitting it out in a pretty way. The page is
pretty self-explanatory, but I will run down the various columns to
the best of my ability. (You can also see my previous email on this
and gregor's answer: http://lists.debian.org/debian-perl/2007/07/
Essentially what the Todo page shows is the version of the package in
debian, and the version of the package "upstream". Upstream is
usually CPAN. If the upstream package has a higher version number
then there is work for us! We need to download that source code from
CPAN and build a new package for debian.
The good thing about this is that all these packages are already in
debian and already in the form of a package. So you can look at the
previous packager's work, in fact, it might be best to completely
copy their work and just add information where it is needed. That can
be as little as adding a line or two to the copyright file and the
changelog, or it can be sending patches to the bug tracking system
and reworking the package, though that is uncommon.
I suggest you start there, find a package you use or you are
interested in or have worked with, download the source from CPAN in
the method suggested by subversion.html, and then build a new package
for the updated software. When you think the package is ready, going
onto IRC or sending an email to the list is a good idea, then a
debian developer or someone from the perl list can look at your work.
More eyes are always better and often people find things that need
fixing. Many of the DDs have done a lot of packaging so they will
know what needs fixing, they are often busy so patience and
politeness are virtues here.
Once your work has been checked, the DD will upload the package to
Testing and off it will go though the various process that test new
packages. Eventually it will find it way into sid and then maybe etch
or lenny, in any case, you will have done a service for debian.
Hope this gives you some places to start and if you have any
questions, send them to the list or IRC.
Having looked over the bugs assigned to the Debian Perl group
the only one that looked easily solvable and fixable to me right
now was #442764, which already has a patch present. (However I've
not tested the patch and couldn't NMU right now without a sponsor ..)
So I'm a little stalled. I'd like to contribute to the perl
packages in the project, but without being able to upload I'm a
Are there any perl modules on CPAN that users would particularly
appreciate me packaging? I could probably find a sponsor easily
enough, and I'm certainly comfortable with actually making Perl
packages, having done so locally since the Sarge days. (Initially
via dh-make-perl, and later "by hand").
One final question - If I do find a perl package which could be
usefully uploaded would I be welcome to ask for membershop/
uploaders here? Or should I stick to the traditional debian-
If you are working on a perl package, this is probably the best place
to seek sponsorship. If you are working on a package from the debian-
perl subversion repo, this is definitely the best place to go.