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announcing apt-src

apt-src is sort of like apt-get for source packages. Where apt-get
source can just unpack, and optionally compile a source package, apt-src

- install a source package into a specified location
- upgrade installed source packages
- while upgrading, bring forward any local modifications you've made to
  a source tree, automatically (unless patch fails, then manually)
- while upgrading or installing a source package, build it, and
  maybe install all the debs produced, with one simple command
- query the installed source packages, in human readable ways, and also
  machine readable ways that may be useful for sources that depend
  on some other source tree being available in a well-defined location

The goals for this thing are:

0. Be very easy to learn for anyone who knows apt, warts and all. 90% done.
1. Be usable by a regular user, not just root. Done.
2. Make tracking that bloody pine package, and any other similar
   packages, easier. Done.
3. Make it trivial to make local modifications to a source tree, and
   keep them up-to-date accross upgrades. Done.
4. Rationalize and standardize debian's handling of source packages to the
   extent that we can get rid of all the nasty -src and -source binary
   packages eventually, and just use source packages.
5. Eventually support source dependencies of some kind.

Here are a couple of example invocations.

To install the source to pine to /usr/src (or substitute in a directory
you can write to), build it, and install the resulting debs:

  apt-src install --location=/usr/src -i pine

To track changes to said installed pine source package, and install debs
whenever a new version comes out:

  apt-get update
  apt-src install -i pine

To install a local copy of package foo, which you are going to
apply a local patch to:

  apt-src install foo
  cd foo-version
  patch <~/my-foo-patch
  apt-src build --installdebs foo
To upgrade your local copy of foo, bringing your local patch forward, and
generating and installing new debs:

  apt-src install -i foo

I am not uploading this to the archive yet, as it is only 2 days old.
Prerelease debs are available at:

deb http://kitenet.net/programs/code/debian /

Let me know what you think.

see shy jo

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