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Re: RFC: Package build automation tools (debmake replacement?)

>	Please send comments, feedback, flames, etc; I'll try to
> incorporate everything in the next version.

Here's an idea taken from my prototype (which I, BTW, will probably
not develop further): give the configuration file format for the tool
a version number so that the tool can behave in a backward-compatible
manner for old packages, or at the least give a sensible error
message.  One of the faults of deb-make (no offense, Christoph, I
hope?) is that if it was `invisibly' upgraded (for instance, by just
running dpkg-ftp every few days and letting it do its thing) it could
break packages without warning and without a good explanation of why.

I hope that makes sense.  If it doesn't, I'll clarify: Suppose the
tool is divided into two programs.  The first one does tasks to make a
source archive into an initial Debian package (like `deb-make'); this
program generates a `debian/rules.in' and a `debian/debtool' or
whatever you want to call it.  The `debian/debtool' has a line like


Now when the second program, which generates `debian/rules' from
`debian/rules.in' and `debian/debtool', is run, it checks this
`debtool-version' and compares it to its own version.  It then
performs normally (if the version is that expected), modifies its
behavior or aborts (if the version is older than expected), or aborts
(if the version is newer than expected).

Users could `upgrade' to newer debtool by editing the appropriate
files, then incrementing `debtool-version'.
Ben Pfaff <pfaffben@pilot.msu.edu> 12167 Airport Rd, DeWitt MI 48820, USA
PGP public key and home page at http://www.msu.edu/user/pfaffben

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