A few months ago I got awfully interested in making debian packages for development versions of Inkscape for Ubuntu. I wanted them mainly for myself but thought maybe I could host them. After quite a bit of research and some help from Richard I was able to bake my own and eventually I came across more than one method for making those packages. Now that I understand things a little better I can honestly say that it isn’t that difficult. Of course, I could have chosen something a little easier to compile than Inkscape. Cutting your teeth on a program like that will surely put a few more hairs on your chest (and if you are a lady then maybe you’ll go up a bust size…I don’t know). In the end packaging was interesting and fun to do for me. I felt good about actually making something that I could install and uninstall.
Lately, I haven’t compiled the latest SVN of Inkscape in a while. I’m a little busier these days. Moreover, I stopped making the debian packages because I wanted to have both the stable version and development version of Inkscape on my computer. With the help of Ted Gould from the Inkscape-devel mailing list, I was able to find instructions for compiling the application into my home directory which I could run manually. This didn’t effect my stable version.
Anyway, back to the subject of debian packages. Yesterday I came across a neat helper application called Debian Package Maker completely by accident. Where was this gem of a tool a few months ago? I could have used it. What’s nice about this tool is that you don’t have to track down any of the configuration text files and fill out the proper information. Sure, there are things like dh_make at the terminal that do similar things but who doesn’t like a nice gui? Also, for the newbies (I’m still in this category) there is a really nifty wizard for making a new debian package. Just answer the questions, point to the right files and shortly you’ll be on your way. How easy is that?
Only just discovering this yesterday, I haven’t had a chance to try it. If I get some time in the next day or two then I’m going to grab the latest and greatest Inkscape SVN and build a package with it. If you are curious about packaging then give it a go. I’m sure this would have helped me in the beginning.