Introduction to Debian Packaging
First read the excellent Introduction to Debian Packaging.
There is another interesting document on how to package for Debian
When you seriously think about packaging as new comer to Debian, please consider to read:
the Debian New Maintainers' Guide -- tutorial for simple package
Debian Policy -- guiding rules
Developers Reference -- advanced guide etc.
Please note some Ubuntu resources may be quite useful too.
the packaging guide at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/PackagingGuide/
Building debian packages
To make sure that a debian package meets all build dependencies and is not influenced by anything specific to the user's environment, packages should be built in a chroot environment. Tools like pbuilder can be used for this.
When working on a package, a faster rebuild can be done with 'debuild'. But then, all build-dependencies must be satisfied in the installation where the package is built. All necessary packages can be installed automatically with apt-get build-dep. A complete example for building the foo package looks like this:
$ apt-get source foo $ cd foo-0.0.1 $ sudo apt-get build-dep foo $ debuild -i -us -uc -b
This is usually enough for you to backport packages.
http://www-128.ibm.com/developerworks/linux/library/l-debpkg.html : creating debian packages - high-level description of debian packaging .
http://www.debian.org/devel/wnpp/prospective : requested packages, and packages being worked on.
http://www.debian-administration.org/articles/336 Rolling your own debian packages.
PackageConfigUpgrade : propose a new way to smoothly handle configuration upgrades during package upgrades
rpm - Tool for extracting from RPM source tarballs
Autobuilding non-free packages: http://article.gmane.org/gmane.linux.debian.devel.announce/997
ToDo: This page needs cleanup