Debianizing tarballs: a Big Deal or a routine skill?
There have been a number of threads lately about where to find info
about how to create a .deb package from source. What I'd like to hear
from people who do this regularly is how complex and involved this is.
Now obviously the estimate will depend on one's skills, so please no
flames. But here is what I think is a reasonable scale: compiling a new
kernel is a routine skill that any Debian user should have (particularly
with how easy the kernel-package and related tools make the process),
whereas reading through the kernel's C source to figure out the answer
to some configuration question is *not*.
Here's an example why this is important, IMHO. I'm using PostgreSQL,
installed from the .deb at debian.org. I want to recompile it to
configure the memory block size, plus use the latest version. The .deb
maintainer will eventually do the latter task (and my hat is off to all
the dedicated folks out there doing this!). But they won't necessarily
configure things the way I need.
A similar example: pppoe. The .deb version is 1.0-1, but Roaring Penguin
has a tarball of version 2.3. I'd like to upgrade.
In both cases, it makes most sense to maintain a system the Debian way,
not partly by hand. I want dselect to remain happy whenever it touches
my system! So rather than just compile and install the tarballs, I'd
like to debianize them first.
Since this seems to be a widespread situation, I want to figure out how
to do this process. I'd be happy to write up a mini-HOWTO. But before I
start, I'd like to know what I'm running into.
TIA for any opinions on this!