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distribute package deltas from upstream

I've been looking at the following issues in distribute/setuptools:


Without getting into the specifics of the issue atm, I have a more basic
question.  It looks like the upstream code is modified in-place, i.e. without
using a patch system.  Why is this?

If there's no good reason, and no objections, I'd like to start by
re-implementing the Debian delta from upstream as a set of quilt patches, with
descriptions.  It seems like this is the only way to maintain some sanity as
new upstream releases are made, and giving us any hope of pushing those
changes upstream.


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