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debstd-like tool for those who don't want to use debmake

I've been using debstd since it came out, and I appreciate it, but I have 
always had some nagging doubts about it. And I've seen postings by others
who have problems with debstd as well. So I spent today prototyping a 
replacement. But first, some of the problems with debstd:

1. It's hard to know exactly what debstd is doing. It would be nice to be
	able to see each command, as it runs it.
2. Debstd is a monolithic tool that tries to do everything. It installs
	files, builds packages, generates warnings of problems, etc. Very
	unlike the traditional small, simple tools of unix.
3. It's difficult to run only parts of debstd, not the whole thing. (Yes,
	some parts can be disabled/enabled by switches, but this doesn't let
	you, for example, run the parts in different orders with some
	commands of your own interspersed between.)
4. If you would like to modify debstd's behavior, you have two options -
	either fix up what it did after it exits, or copy it into your
	source package and modify it, and not have an up-to-date version

So, my stab at a solution to these problems. Basically, I break debstd into
many small programs, that can be called in any order, or not called at all if
you prefer. Here's how they fix each problem:

1. (It's hard to know exactly what debstd is doing.) 
	If an environment variable is set, my programs output each command 
	run that has any effect on debian/tmp to stdout, in a format 
	conviently designed to be pasted into debian/rules if you want to do 
	that (ie, each line starts with a tab ;-). For example, part of the 
	debian/rules build process of pdmenu with verbose turned on:

root@kite:~joey/debian/build/pdmenu-1.2.19>debian/rules binary D2_VERBOSE=yes
	install -d debian/tmp/usr/doc/pdmenu/examples
	cp -a examples/pdmenurc.monitor debian/tmp/usr/doc/pdmenu/examples/
	cp -a examples/pdmenurc debian/tmp/usr/doc/pdmenu/examples/
	cp -a examples/pdmenurc.complex debian/tmp/usr/doc/pdmenu/examples/
	cp -a examples/README debian/tmp/usr/doc/pdmenu/examples/
	cp -a examples/showdir.pl debian/tmp/usr/doc/pdmenu/examples/
	install -p -m644 debian/changelog debian/tmp/usr/doc/pdmenu/changelog
	gzip -9 debian/tmp/usr/man/man1/pdmenu.1 debian/tmp/usr/man/man5/pdmenurc.5 debian/tmp/usr/doc/pdmenu/changelog 
	install -d debian/tmp/DEBIAN
	install -p debian/postinst debian/tmp/DEBIAN
	install -p debian/postrm debian/tmp/DEBIAN
	install -m 644 -p debian/conffiles debian/tmp/DEBIAN
	dpkg-shlibdeps debian/tmp/usr/bin/pdmenu debian/tmp/usr/doc/pdmenu/examples/showdir.pl debian/tmp/etc/menu-methods/pdmenu debian/tmp/DEBIAN/postinst debian/tmp/DEBIAN/postrm
        dpkg-gencontrol -ppdmenu

2. (Debstd is monolithic)
	Obviously not the case here. I've broken the basic debstd behaviour 
	up into these parts:
		d2_installdebfiles	Install everything in debian/tmp/DEBIAN
					and generate the control file.
		d2_installmanpages	Automatic man page installation.
		d2_installdocs		Install all docs listed in debian/docs
					and the copyright, README.debian, etc.
		d2_installmenu		install menu package files
		d2_installexamples	Install all files listed in 
		d2_installchangelogs	Install upstream and debian changelogs
					(passed upstream changelog, if 
		d2_compress		Compress all files mandated by policy
					or, if debian/compress exists, run
					it as a shell script and compress
					all filenames it outputs. Also, fix
					symlinks to compressed files.
		d2_fixperms		Make sure file perms are sane.
	More parts can be added.

3. (It's difficult to only run part of debstd)
	Here's an excerpt of a debian/rules file that uses my
	programs, and shows how easy it is to comment various things out.

binary-arch: build
	$(MAKE) INSTALL_PREFIX=debian/tmp install
#	joey_installmanpages
#	joey_compress

4. (Difficult to modify debstd's behavior)
	I'm planning on putting all these little programs somewhere in
	/usr/lib/. So I expect that debian/rules will be configured to
	append to the path:

PATH += :debian:/usr/lib/wherever

	With it set up this way, if you need to modify the behavior of any
	of the programs, you just copy from /usr/lib/wherever to debian/,
	and modify the program.

I'm writing this message to see if anyone thinks this idea is worth
pursuing. I'm interested to know if any of you thinks this shows promise,
and you might use the finished version in your packages. So please write
back and let me know if you like how it looks. At this point, it's just a
prototype with many features of debstd missing, and I need to know if I
should keep working on it.

see shy jo

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