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patch and diffs

I am having trouble coming to terms with patch and the diff files 
provided with source packages.

Up to this point, every package that I have picked up to maintain, has 
used diff -ruN (which makes sense) against directories packagexxx and 
packagexxx.orig. From the diffs, it appears that packagexxx is the debian 
source and packagexxx.orig is the upstream source.

I have two problems:

1.  The new package I just picked up (octave) uses diff -cNr.

2.  I have been unable to reconstruct upstream source from 
    packagexxx.diff.gz and packagexxx.tar.gz debian source.

I have tried all combinations of 'debian source tree' in packagexxx or in 
packagexxx.orig or in both, with patch <packagexxx.diff and the closest I 
got to what I wished for, produced a set of files in ./ that could be 
manually coppied into packagexxx.orig, at which point, deleting all files 
of 0 length produced the upstream source. (not at all what is expected)

In private communication I was told that the debian source tree needed to 
exist in both packagexxx and packagexxx.orig paths. For the new octave 
package I did this and, after much research (I sure hate the index tree 
in info pages!@#$%$#@) I tried patch -E <packagexxx.diff. Nothing changed 
in the .orig path. Whether I answered yes to the 'reverse patch' question 
or not, the result was:

New files in packagexxx path like; debian.rules.orig (which are the right 
size). The debian.rules file in this path is twice as long as it should 
be (it has itself appended to itself...)

This is all quite confusing (I'm sure it must be for the reader. I 
certainly feel confused myself!)

My concern is that I might not be producing diff files that are of any 
use to anyone else.
I put the debian source in packagexxx and the upstream source in 
packagexxx.orig and run diff -ruN to make the .diff file.

1. How is upstream source rebuilt, given only the .diff and debian source?

B. What problems arise when diffs are created with options other than -ruN?



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aka   Dale Scheetz                   Phone:   1 (904) 877-0257
      Flexible Software              Fax:     NONE 
      Black Creek Critters           e-mail:  dwarf@polaris.net

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