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Re: Packaging software which does not use autotools

On 8/14/06, Michael Rasmussen <mir@datanom.net> wrote:

I have some questions I hope some of you have an answer for.

This question is more on-topic in the debian-mentors list.  I'm
replying to you, and to the debian-mentors mailing list, please
follow-up there.

I intend to package a peace of software which does not use autotools
but only has a plain Makefile.

There's plenty of software in Debian that is in the same situation,
this is no a particular case.

1) Can I use dh_make?

Yes, you can.  But, keep in mind that dh_make is never perfect, you
always need to review what it has done, afterwards.

2) Does Debian policy have something to say about it?

No.  It's just a normal package.

3) Would it be ok if I converted it to use autotools my self?

Only if it rendered any benefits.  Most usually than not, it does not,
so it's probably not needed.  The only case in where this would be
needed is if you want to compile this in an architecture that really
needs the autotools stuff.  Many times you don't, and therefore you
don't need autotools at all.

4) The project seems to be abandoned by the developers - I have send
more than one email with no response. Would it be in conflict with the
Debian Policy if a adopt the software - it has been released under GPL
so I guess it would be ok to do a fork?

It's perfectly ok to do a fork.  There's a lot of software in Debian
who has been abandoned upstream, and the Debian maintainer keeps
giving support for the software by providing the relevant patches,
although usually not adding more features.

You can do your fork and add new features, or just go on maintaining
it the way it is now, and just add the needed patches.

5) Would there be any interest in the community for be doing it?

I don't understand your question.  But if you are asking if the
community is interested in having tptest in Debian, you should file an
ITP (see [0]) and make sure it goes carbon-copied to debian-devel,
there you would (maybe) receive input about the package.

When you file your ITP make sure you write a meaningful description to
the package, and add any extra comments that you think might be

Obviously, this has _nothing_ to do with the fact that the package
does not use autotools.

[0]: http://www.debian.org/doc/developers-reference/ch-pkgs.en.html


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