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Recent changes in dpkg


The versions 1.15.6 and 1.15.7 of dpkg introduced several important changes.
Let's skim over them:

  * The dpkg-maintscript-helper tool has been introduced in dpkg
    to help packagers deal with renaming conffiles and removing obsolete
    conffiles. Check its manual page dpkg-maintscript-helper(1) for more
    details on how to use it. This shell script might be extended over
    time to cover other common operations. Feel free to make suggestions
    while it's not too late to make changes on this new interface.

  * dpkg-dev provides a new script called dpkg-mergechangelogs that can be
    used to do 3-way merges of Debian changelogs. It is already used on
    several git repositories to provide automatic merge of

  * dpkg-dev provides a new script called dpkg-buildflags that packages
    should use in debian/rules to retrieve the default value of various
    compilation flags. Bug #578597[1] has been submitted against
    debian-policy. When generalized this offer us centralized archive-wide
    control of the default build flags as well as the possibility for
    end-users to try out easily new flags.

  * dpkg-gensymbols offers new ways to manage symbols files (matching C++
    symbols by their demangled name, matching symbols with regular
    expressions) thanks to Modestas Vainius.

  * dpkg-source can now be fed options through debian/source/local-options
    but this file won't end up in the generated source package. This can
    be useful to include some VCS-specific options (ignore of some
    VCS-specific files, --single-debian-patch) in the repository but not
    have them in the generated source package.

  * The plan concerning dpkg-source and the default source format has been
    clarified. In the long term, the default format will disappear and
    debian/source/format will become mandatory. The lintian tag
    missing-debian-source-format[2] will help us track that.

  * dpkg is now more resilient against powerloss and other brutal
    interruptions. After several iterations on the topic, the performance
    loss due to the supplementary fsync()/sync() should be acceptable in and mostly compensated by the optimization made in other
    areas (for example in loading the /var/lib/dpkg/info/*.list files).

  -- Raphaël Hertzog & Guillem Jover, the dpkg maintainers

 [1] http://bugs.debian.org/578597
 [2] http://lintian.debian.org/tags/missing-debian-source-format.html

Raphaël Hertzog

Like what I do? Sponsor me: http://ouaza.com/wp/2010/01/05/5-years-of-freexian/
My Debian goals: http://ouaza.com/wp/2010/01/09/debian-related-goals-for-2010/

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