Mentor: someone familiar with dpkg, hopefully
Summary: Port FreeBSD's mergemaster to Debian
Required skills: Perl, C, and/or shellscripting
Description: FreeBSD has a shellscript called "mergemaster" which is used to interactively merge changes in configuration files, based on 3-way diffs. Debian's approach to configuration file differences is much more primitive: either keep the original file, or blow it away (including all local changes) and use the Debian-provided file. It would be nice to get a system such as mergemaster into Debian. Important is to remember that Debian contains two often-used configuration file management systems: ucf, and conffiles; porting mergemaster in such a way that it will be used in both cases would be great.
On a related note, some work on this is already in progress on the dpkg team's proposal page:?Teams/Dpkg/Proposals/ConffileDatabase
One of the stumbling blocks for this proposal is that according to policy, all user interactions have to be mediated via debconf, and that makes for some "interesting" user interaction convolutions. Even if the target application is dpkg, it would not be a bad idea to migrate even dpkg's interactions to debconf, as is the intent of the dpkg team.
Note: This is copied from an unfinished project from last year. Please look at what was done last year.