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Re: Packaging HOWTO

On Tue, 25 Feb 1997, Igor Grubman wrote:

> Sorry, I was busy with something else and did not have time to reply....
> On Sun, 23 Feb 1997, Christian Schwarz wrote:
> > On Sun, 23 Feb 1997, Patrick J. Edwards wrote:
> >
> > > 	Actually I thought it was a really good start.  Unfortunately it
> > > seems that debmake come hell or high water will be obsolete, and has never
> > > been popular with some developers. I thought the begining was very good (the
> > > section describing the packages required). But like Igor I believe the last
> > > half should be expanded alot, and should be done written without debmake in
> > > mind.
> > >
> > > On Sat, 22 Feb 1997, Igor Grubman wrote:
> > > > I looked at it, and it seems a little too basic to me.  Ioannis (and
> > > > others), could you look at the URL above, and see if that's the kind of
> > > > thing that you wanted.  I wanted to write something a little more
> > > > detailed.  I wanted to include such things as explanation of conffile
> > > > handling, the maintainer scripts, how to build a package without debmake,
> > > > etc.  Let me know if I need to do this.  Otherwise, I might want to write
> > > > some of the docs Jaldhar mentioned in his other post.  It probably should
> > > > be Christian's decision at the end, since he is the Policy Manager
> >
> > I just had a look at Jaldhar document. It seams to me as it gives a good
> > "overview" about what has to be done to create a .deb with deb-make.
> >
> > So Igor, if you want to create a more detailed HOWTO, just go ahead! AFAIK
> > the policy and the programmers manual contain some instructions on
> > "how-to" create the packages. This info should probably moved to a such a
> > manual, you want to write.
> >
> Yes, I am planning to do so.
> > Perhaps you could post a table-of-contents when you know the contents.
> >
> Ok, here is what I am thinking of:  I want the whole HOWTO be based on
> some hypothetical package, so that it would be like learning by example.
> I plan to use some of the content from Jaldhar's document.  I do like his
> approach and style.  Jaldhar, I hope you don't mind ....
> As for the table of contents, here is my first attempt:
> 1. Introduction: explanation of  Debian's goals, free software, why the
> howto was written, etc.
> 2. Getting the source and converting to debian source format (creating
> debian dir and putting the necessary basic files there)
> 3. Rules file structure, and how to make it work with upstream makefile,
> etc.
> 4. Conffile handling
> 5. Building a package
> 6. Menu file
> 7. Maintainer Scripts: I am not yet proficient at things like changing a
> conffile from the maintainer script.  This section will probably be very
> brief at the beginning, and maybe someone else would enhance it later
> 8. Library building.  Probably won't be included in the first draft, since
> I didn't try to do this yet, but plan to in the future.
> 9. Init/update-rc.d.  Again, will not be covered in detail since I don't
> know too much about this, but do want to explore, so the section will grow
> with time.
> I know, this looks kind of like Programmer's manual table of contents, but
> I want to make it much shorter, and more readable.

Looks good so far, but I'll suggest you drop section 1 about the Project.
I don't think this belongs into the Packaging HOWTO. 

IMHO we need a "Debian User's Guide". This guide should include all
existing documents (rewritten) and a few new ones. I think we should
discuss this further (perhaps on a newly created mailing list?).

Then your Packaging HOWTO could be a chapter of that document. That's why
I'd suggest not to include the same stuff over and over again. There are
several approaches to explain the Debian Project and the goals but none of
them is really good I think. 

What about this TOC (that's just what comes into my mind right
now--perhaps I missed a few important things):

	1. Introduction

	What Debian, GNU, and Linux are. Our project, the goals, etc.

	2. Installation

	2.1 Installing from scratch

	Could be the current installation manual (distributed in the
disks-i386 directory, but will probably have to be rewritten)

	2.2 Upgrading your System

	3. Setting up your System

	3.1 dpkg/dselect
		(maybe this section should go into chapter 2?)
	Installing/Removing packages

	Configuring Network, X Windows, Emacs, TeX, etc.
	Added new users/groups

	4. Running Debian GNU/Linux

	System Maintainance, Log files, etc.

	5. Advanced Topics

	5.1 The Debian Packaging System in detail

	Concepts: Meta-Packages, Wrapper-Packages (to satisfy dependencies
when using local programs), etc.
	How to fix things when something is broken (i.e. explain how to
edit /var/lib/dpkg/status)

	5.2 How to create a .deb

	<Igor, here goes your new document>

	6. Frequently Asked Questions

	<We could include the current FAQ here>

(Hope I didn't forget to many things! :-)

Note that I _DONT_ want to have a single SGML-source for that document. We
should keep this as decentralized as Debian is now. However, I would like
to create a "framework" for the user that wants to get the information and
doesn't know where to look.

I'm thinking about making this TOC a HTML-Page which refers to the
currently available documents. Of course, the documents will have to be
changed to have some common layout.

But we could also make some printable version of this (SGML->Latex->PS). I
certainly like the idea of having a "Debian User's Guide".

Any comments?



--                 Christian Schwarz
Do you know         schwarz@monet.m.isar.de, schwarz@debian.org,
Debian GNU/Linux?    schwarz@mathematik.tu-muenchen.de, bm955877@muenchen.org
Visit                  PGP-fp: 8F 61 EB 6D CF 23 CA D7  34 05 14 5C C8 DC 22 BA
http://www.debian.org   http://fatman.mathematik.tu-muenchen.de/~schwarz/

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