To prepare a possible switch to the new source package format "3.0
(quilt)" , I converted all source packages and rebuilt the packages
afterwards to see what breaks, and h5utils does break. To reproduce the
problem you can do this:
$ apt-get source h5utils
$ mkdir -p h5utils-1.12/debian/source
$ echo "3.0 (quilt)" >h5utils-1.12/debian/source/format
$ dpkg-source -b h5utils-1.12
$ dpkg-source -x h5utils_1.12-1.dsc
$ cd h5utils-1.12 && debuild -us -uc
In this process, if the .diff.gz contains changes to upstream files,
dpkg-source will have created a corresponding patch in
debian/patches/debian-changes-1.12-1 and will have registered that
patch in a quilt series (debian/patches/series, it is created if needed).
All the patches listed in the "series" file are applied directly during
the extraction (dpkg-source -x). quilt itself is used if available (and
will thus lead to the creation of the .pc directory), otherwise
dpkg-source applies the patches by itself. For more information about the
new source package format see the manual page dpkg-source(1).
In the case of h5utils, it fails to build when the patches are
already applied as quilt push -a will exit with error code 2.
To avoid this kind of mistakes, you should really not reinvent the wheel
and simply use /usr/share/quilt/quilt.make provided by quilt (include it
and add the proper target dependencies).
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