screenshot of Adobe Reader

I updated acroread packages in Medibuntu yesterday. Gutsy now ships the 8.1.1 release. I spent a lot of time sanitizing debian-marillat’s package, so it should work out of the box! Please report any bug experienced to our bugtracker. ;)

Proprietary softwares are really a PITA to maintain: they often use non-standard installers, do exotic things (strange linking & compiling flags), or ship full sets of libraries instead of using the system ones. Nevertheless, I can do lots of geeky stuff to package them “cleanly”, and that’s fun. For example, I had to play with make & Makefiles vars, wildcards & rules in debian/rules for skype, and the result is rather frightening for end-users (as frightening as the gcc build system could be to me ;) :

#!/usr/bin/make -f

include /usr/share/cdbs/1/rules/

DIR_skype := $(CURDIR)/skype-
DIR_skype-static := $(CURDIR)/skype_static-

clean:: $(foreach p,$(DEB_ARCH_PACKAGES),clean-$(p))
    rm -rf $(DIR_$(*))
    rm -f $(DIR_$(*)).tar.bz2.cdbs-config_list
    rm -f debian/stamp-build-$*

common-build-arch common-build-indep:: debian/stamp-build
debian/stamp-build: $(foreach p,$(DEB_ARCH_PACKAGES),debian/stamp-build-$(p))
    tar jxf $(DIR_$(*)).tar.bz2 --directory=$(CURDIR)
    touch $@

$(patsubst %,binary-install/%,$(DEB_ARCH_PACKAGES))::
    rm -rf $(CURDIR)/debian/$(cdbs_curpkg)/usr/share/doc/$(cdbs_curpkg)
    dh_link -p$(cdbs_curpkg) usr/share/doc/skype-common usr/share/doc/$(cdbs_curpkg)


Well, I won’t complain if someone wants to take care of these packages (I can even help him/her). A better solution would be to include them (= acroread, googleearth & skype) in Canonical Commercial/Partner repository, since Canonical can have agreements with Adobe/Google/Skype, and (hopefully) Canonical packagers have more time dedicated to the packaging tasks than me. Eventually, I am looking forward to seeing some progress on the Collaboration between Automatix and Ubuntu. Thanks to this spec, many good ideas can pop up and be implemented in hardy, and I’d be happy to receive any feedback/suggestion/help from them about Medibuntu (currently there are only 3 active maintainers: Arthur, Albin and I)…