There are less than 80 packages in unstable still using it, and there
is an excellent package called debhelper which can do everything that
debmake does and probably much better, so it does not make much sense
to keep debmake alive forever.
Therefore, I hereby announce my Intention To Kill debmake.
The current plan is as follows:
Stage 1. "Please do not create new packages using debmake".
This started a year ago when deb-make was removed from the debmake
binary package, leaving just the debstd tool. However, there are a few
more things that could be done, and this is where help would be welcome,
*) If you are a sponsor, you are welcome to refuse to upload a package
that uses debmake.
*) If you are a ftp-master, you are more than welcome to reject a package
in the NEW queue if it's a completely new package and it uses debmake.
*) If you maintain documentation from the DDP, you are welcome to
remove any documentation or howto explaining how to use debmake to
create a debian package. This includes translations.
Stage 2. "Please switch away from debmake".
This is the stage that starts today. So, everybody please, switch away
from debmake. From past experience converting orphaned packages to
debhelper, I would say that debhelper is the logical choice, but every
person has his preferences regarding helper packages.
In addition to the items listed above, I suggest this:
*) If you are the maintainer of lintian or a similar tool, you are welcome
to add a check that gives a warning if a package uses debmake.
*) Please don't file any bugs yet.
Stage 3 will start when the number of packages using debmake is "low enough".
If the release managers agree, RC bugs would be filed against any
remaining packages. When the number is zero, I'll ask ftp-master to
remove debmake from the archive.
As a realistic goal, I estimate that etch will be the last release
containing debmake, but of course, I would be deligthed to see it