I'm about to release debhelper 6.0.0. But this blog is really about CDBS, and why it's entirely unlike debhelper despite being based on it.

With CDBS you're building a ship in a bottle. You have all the same tools available, but there's this bottle in the way, which doesn't let you bring any of them fully to bear, and requires all your techniques be changed around to fit its limited interface.

This is a beautiful example of the kind of fun you're setting yourself up for by chosing CDBS. With debhelper, two commands can be easily reordered. With CDBS, you need three magic environment variables and either a hardcoded package name or some grody Makefile code: http://lists.debian.org/debian-python/2008/01/msg00039.html