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Q: Getting started on a package

I am getting started on taking over a package that someone else didn't
I have just sent in my message to new-maintainers to offically register
to become a developer
Just would like to ask (before my technical questions below)
what is the proper procedure for taking over the package?
I have been lookin gover the source code for the current debian releace
of the
package and have found a problem (I think...either this is wrong or I am
The Makefile contains an install target (good) but....this it does
things like this:
cp <file> /usr/man.....
you get the idea...it is installin gdirectly into the filesystem rather
than using
...how could this work?
I know that the old maintainer (well technically still the current since
I am not
officall yet) just threw it together to "Test the waters" ....
is this wrong? should I change all of these to install to
$(DESTDIR)/usr/..... ?
(I am at work and realized I don't have the right compiler...I will try
it at home...later...) but...should this work?
how could a debian package have even been made with this set wrong?
any help is greatly apreciated

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