As you may well be aware, I'm the original author of dbs. I've now gotten
interested in the package.
To that ends, I've started doing some changes, to bring it in line with my
unreleased dbs sources.
Here's an excerpt of the changelog:
dbs (0.30.1) unstable; urgency=low
* Add patch-dependency ordering code.
* Use patch --dry-run to make certain patches apply.
* Add support for disabled patches.
* Patches can now be prefixed with a dpkg control-like paragraph, that
contains several fields: Depends, Disabled, Description, etc.
* Removed message file, and embed text into lib.
* Fix interpeter line in vars.build.
The ordering code is the big new feature. I need to update the documentation
for it, which my tree doesn't have.
I'm not yet ready to send these changes off, as there are a few more things I
want to work on.
However, I may decide to do it anyways, bumping the version, in preparation
for the next feature, as it is a major change.
The next feature will support pre-applied patches. dpkg-source -x on a dbs
package will not require patching the source with the diffs in debian/patches.
Instead, during clean, you don't unapply anything. This will allow developers
to just unpack the source, start editing, then build the package, and have it
work as they expect.
If they want to create it as a diff in debian/patches, then run
dbs-edit-patch, and it'll place it there.
None of this new feature is written yet; it's just existed in my head for the
past few months.
I also note that the manpage goes thru detailed instructions on how to migrate
an existing package to dbs format. I have a script to do all this. I'll be
including that into the first set of changes I publish.