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dpkg-buildpackage; building from subversion

Hi all,

I'm trying to get my head around package building with Debian, coming
from my earlier experiences with RPMs.

One technique which I found quite good with RPMs was the ability to
create a tarball that *included* the necessary .spec file, and then
just typing "rpmbuild -ta mytarball.tar.bz2". This would extract the
spec file from the tarball and then proceed with the build in my
special build directory (/usr/src/rpm or wherever).

Is there any comparable way of building a .deb package from a single
tarball like this?

The reason I ask is because I am packaging *my own* software. Being
required to apply a diff against my own tarball in this case doesn't
seem to make sense. Most of the tutorials seem to assume that you are
packaging someone else's code, so the focus is a bit different.

So: assuming I have complete control over what is in my tarball, what
is the neatest, tidiest and safest way to set up and run an
actual .deb build?


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