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Packaging MB-System, some questions


I'm currently packaging up MB-System software for inclusion in Debian,


in parallel with upstream converting to Autoconf instead of a custom
Makefile method.

three questions:

-- the watch file:

New releases are posted on a FTP site*, and the version numbering is
like major.minor.svn_rev. On the FTP site the latest release is simply
named <package_name>.tar.gz, which is a symlink back to the versioned
filename. That would be fine, except for sometimes development snapshots
are uploaded to the FTP site with the same x.y.rev naming scheme as a
full release, but those never get symlinked to the package.tar.gz name.
How to deal with that? Just watch for x.y.rev and if a dev version gets
posted (rare, but it happens) just ignore the message in the PTS?

[*] ftp://ftp.ldeo.columbia.edu/pub/MB-System

-- the automated copyright file:

Are there devtools for automatically creating that template? This software
is pretty easy, mostly by a couple of authors who still lead the project,
and stuff not by them is either bundled libraries which in the debian
package will be removed in favor of official debian packages, or are DFSG problematic and built --without. So not a major complicated thing to untangle but if there's a way to make creating the automated copyright file easier I'd
be keen to know about it.

-- GMT paths:

Debian's GMT package does a funny thing with the GMT package, it installs
the 140 binary programs into /usr/lib/gmt/bin instead of directly into /usr/bin.
See `man GMT` for an explanation and wrapper script. (is there a historical thread discussing this?)

I'm guessing this is to keep /usr/bin/ from being overloaded, but is it
still desirable and needed to do that? MB-System makes heavy use of the
GMT programs, and is designed in a similar way with 74 of its own command
line do-one-thing-well programs and scripts. Path-patchching all of the system() calls to gmt programs and code that generates run-time auto-generated shell scripts too would be a huge patch, and one I'd rather avoid. My current solution (which I'm not really happy with either) is to add a file to /etc/profile.d/ called gmt_path.sh containing
   PATH="$PATH:/usr/lib/gmt/bin"; export PATH

Better ideas? Should I file a wish to move GMT binaries back into /usr/bin?


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