A few minor updates

No real terribly exciting updates lately but all important in their own way.


A new version of ncurses got uploaded into sid. It should hopefully fix the backspace versus delete problem some of the FreeBSD people have been having with some of the terminal emulators.

Oh, and if you are pining for the good old days when 8 colours and 64kB of memory was good enough for everyone, checkout ncurses-examples which have a bunch of interesting things you can do with curses, including some games.  Anyone remeber the tower of Hanoi?



dh-make, the tool to take a raw tar (or zip) archive and make a Debian package has been updated too.  One of the interesting side-effects of maintaining dh-make is you find out (usually through bug reports) the little changes that happen to the Debian package build process.

Most people, including myself, though the main big thing between versions 1 and 2 and version 3 of the source formats was the inclusion of quilt patches right inside the source files.  And probably for the sake of “main things” this is true.  What I didn’t realise is that dpkg-source has changed in other ways too.

Bug 580804 tripped this one up.  For most people, you run dh_make, fix some things up and use debuild.  If you didn’t have the original tar file (perhaps you got the source from git or svn) you just use –creatorig and it copies the current directory into ../whatever-1.2.3.orig

Source format 3 doesn’t like this. Previously it would find that there was no orig.tar.gz archive but there was a orig directory and make the archive from that. Now you have to do it yourself and dh_make does it like that too.



Now this should of been a pretty simple stock-standard upstream upgrade. Download the file, uupdate, debuild and release. The problem is that upstream didn’t fix their po files. These are the translation files that convert the raw english texts in a program into whatever language.  This means the first time you run the build process, you have no diff file. However when you run it the second time, part of the install target rebuilds the po files (mainly the line references), you have differences and then a big diff file of these po updates.

The real fix is to make sure your po files are up to date before you release!  The trick is that they don’t automatically and I have been caught myself; though it happens in the release testing phase (because my release testing involves usually building the debian archive so I see my own problem).

irc came to the rescue again. Someone there suggested getting dpkg-source to ignore the changes. The way you do that is put parameters into debian/source/options. I wanted to ignore the changes to the po and pot files so my file has:


I put that in and it works!