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new upstream src

ok this hopefully should be an easy Q
let me use xfstt as an example...
I took the package and looked at it for the first time...
it was ok..worked needed work (no manpage, etc)
I found out that the upstream source had changed and fixed that
(and a few other things)
so I wanted to upgrade the updtream source to 0.9.8 from 0.9.7
so I got the source and all but...
I was unsure of what to do from there...so I looked at the
old maintainers patch file and realized he only changed about 3 lines of

actuall source (changed /usr/ttfonts to /var/ttfonts to mke it fsstnd
and some other little define...
so I just looked and added those in to the new source by hand
then I copied the debian/ directory over into the new source
my Q is...i sthere an easier way?
could I have applied the patch to it? (it look slike it should have
is there a "proper" way to handle these upgrades?
it is not urgent now (as I have the package finished...just wanna looka
thing or two
over now) bu tin the future...is thi sjust how it has to be done?
(I could never really figure patch out...dunno why...I mean I know what
it does and
all...can even sorta read patch files...but atcually getting it to work
and the command line options right just escapes me)

PGP Key at: http://www.gis.net/~sjc/pgp.asc
(BTW Thanx allot Noah for pointing out why putting my pgp key here was
a bad idea...now I hafta find a new funny quote or something for here)
"Ummm, me make *one* change. Stone hot so me soak in stream so
stone not burn Lorto hand. Small change, shoul dnot keep Lorto from
make Fire."

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