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Re: Q: Getting started on a package

It seems that noone responded to these questions yet...

Some time around  Mon, 27 Apr 1998 11:29:20 EDT, 
         Stephen Carpenter wrote:
 > I am getting started on taking over a package that someone else didn't
 > want
 > 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?

Email the current maintainer and wnpp@debian.org, and inform them of your 
plans.  If the package is listed as orphaned, only email wnpp.  I would also 
try to contact the upstream maintainer/author, and introduce myself.

 > 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
 > confused)
 > 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
 > compiling
 > 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

There are 2 approaches to this type of Makefile.  You can change the makefile 
to install into $(DESTDIR), and send the patches upstream.  Alternatively, you 
can ignore the install target of upstream makefile, and do all the 
installation from your debian/rules file.  Depending on the situation, any of 
the above 2 may be preferable.  Sometimes, if you know there is no active 
upstream author, or if you know that the author will not accept your patches 
for whatever reason, it is better to do it in the debian/rules file.  
Sometimes, it's just an easier way out ;-).

Hope this answers your questions.

Proudly running Debian Linux! Linux vs. Windows is a no-Win situation....
Igor Grobman           igor@debian.org                 igor@digicron.com 

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