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What to do if the upstream keeps debian directory in original tarball?

I have a situation with a Debian package xdialog: 

The upstream author, Thierry Godefroy <xdialog@free.fr>, insists on keeping 
the debian changes inside the upstream tarball, orig.tar.gz. This complicates 
the development process. First of all, when he makes a new version of 
xdialog, he sends it to the Debian maintainer (me). I then have to make 
changes to the debian directory and send him the changes. Finally, he 
releases the new upstream with Debian changes already included.

What do I do with the Debian .diff.gz? Because of the above, it's hard to see 
what's going on in .diff.gz to check the quality of the package. Also, it 
makes it even harder to release incremental changes to the Debian package.

I tried convincing the upstream to remove the debian directory, but so far he 
refused. His argument is that a user should be able to download his tarball 
and build it from source, build an rpm package or build a deb package. I sent 
one more e-mail to him where I presented an argument that his strategy slows 
down the development process and introduces more problems than it solves.

If Thierry refuses to remove the debian directory, would it be OK for me to 
remove it myself and repackage pristine source without it? What else can I 

Stan Vasilyev

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