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Proposal: dh_install - a new debhelper

Hi guys!

I am very new within your ranks (actually I have not even applied as a
maintainer yet, but that is to come soon...) so I do not know, if the thing I
am proposing here might not be something that is already solved in some way or
that anyone is working on right now, but I still think , it is worth to bring

Problem: I am right at packaging the Sather-compiler which comes in a package
without any installation procedure like "make install", because it is supposed
to be kept all in the original tree. For me, that means I have to "cp" or
"install" all the files to the right places in debian/rules, which is very
confusing, since the combination of the make-file format, the little embedded
sh-scripts and the programs "cp" and "install" do not harmonize very elegant.

My idea: Why not have one additional debhelper "dh_install" that reads a file
debian/install (or debian/<package>.install if multibinary) that contain all
the information needed to copy files from the source-tree into the debian/tmp
tree in a comfortable, debian-style manner? Of would provide everything install
or cp do, like pattern matching, recursive directories, file modes/owners, on
the fly gzipping and much more.

Now, what do you think about this? I already have a worked out some kind of a
layout which I could shape up to present it here if there is a general
interest. For implementing the whole thing I would first have to look into
Perl-scripting (guess that is the way to do it) since I have not used that
before. Perhaps somebody could help me out on that, too? I don´t think, the
implementation should be too hard. It´s mainly a thing that needs a clean


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