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My first packages -- some questions.

Hi Mentors!

I am putting together my first two packages: elisp-manual and
emacs-lisp-intro.  These are orphaned packages that I adopted and am
converting over from old source format as well as updating with
new upstream versions.

I have several minor question, the first bunch of which I will ask
here.  If these are more appropriate for a one-on-one email discussion
than for this list, please assign me a mentor for a day or two.

I would also appreciate it if someone could give my packages a quick
look before I upload them to Incoming.  I could either put them in my
home directory on master or in an obscure corner of my web page.  Were
I to do that and then decide that I wanted to change something, would
I have to bump up the release number, or would it be OK to keep the
same release number since the package had not been uploaded to
Incoming and it had been clearly marked as a not-yet-official package.

OK, here is my first bunch of question.

0. BTW, I built my packages in what I assume is the standard way.  I
   ran deb-make, edited the files in debian/ and ran build.  Should I
   be doing something differently?  I am not quite comfortable with
   this level of automation, since I don't know what it all does yet.

1. Where does buildinfo.Debian come from, and does it really belong?

   OK, I assume that build (or dpkg-buildpackage or debstd or
   whatever) makes it, but I can't find this file mentioned in any of
   the documentation.  If it is something that we are encouraged to
   include in the .deb, then why isn't it mentioned in the Policy or
   Packaging manual?

   It lists the version of packages containing various development
   tools.  But for my packages makeinfo is an important tool, and
   tetex-bin is not listed in buildinfo.Debian.  Should I do something
   to include it?

2. Do I need to do something special because I use makeinfo to build
   the packages?

   makeinfo is from tetex-bin which is a "Standard" package.  Might it
   not be considered a standard development tool, and do I need to
   document its use somewhere?

3. Why doesn't debstd gzip README.debian?

   Well, why doesn't debstd gzip README.debian?  It does gzip the
   documentation mentioned on the "debstd" line of the debian/rules

4. Should I edit the README to remove build information?

   Section 5.3 "Additional documentation" of the policy manual says:

     It is often a good idea to put text information files (READMEs,
     changelogs, and so forth) that come with the source package in
     /usr/doc/package in the binary package. However, you don't need to
     install the instructions for building and installing the package, of

   If the source package includes a README which contains some useful
   information, but which mostly talks about the build process, should
   I include it in its entirety, or may I edit out the build

5. What happened to the "Section" and "Priority" fields?

   My debian/control file includes these lines:

     Section: doc
     Priority: optional

   but these fields are missing from control file of the .deb package.
   What happened?

6. Why does `dpkg -I *.deb' say "new debian package"?

   When I run `dpkg -I *.deb' on my packages, the first line is:

     new debian package, version 2.0.

   Why?  I didn't put anything in the control file to indicate that it
   is a new package, and there is a previous entry in the
   debian/changelog file.

7. Why do I get *_i386.changes when Architecture = all?

   My debian/control file includes the line:

     Architecture: all

   but after I build I get an emacs-lisp-intro_1.05-1_i386.changes
   file.  Is this correct since I am building it on a i386 machine, or
   should it have been *_all.changes?  (The package itself is

8. Why is build complaining about "no utmp entry available"?

   When I build, I am told:

     no utmp entry available, using value of LOGNAME ("kirk") at
     /usr/lib/dpkg/controllib.pl line 16.

   but line 16 follows this line:

     if (!defined (getlogin ())) { 

   and getlogin seems to work for me:

     $ perl -le 'print getlogin()'

   Does this have something to do with fakeroot?

Thats all for now.  I think that my packages might be ready for
upload, but I would sure appreciate some answers to these questions.


Kirk Hilliard

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