>Some Debian packages are built this way already, though the practice is far from universal.
As mentioned in the article, yes this is in place in Debian, where the diff.gz carries all the
patches that extract into the debian/patches directory and are applied at build time.
The problem with this approach is that there are half a dozen different "standard" ways to do
this plus probably a few homebrew solutions and they all operate differently. My opinion is
that if this method of managing patches is to be really endorsed by the Debian Project, then
one mechanism needs to be mandated in policy and used project wide.
Overall, many of the "core" packages do tend to use a patch system of some sort, but of the
thousands of Debian packages, most do not and ship just a diff.gz that applies directly to the
source code. Of course, most debian packages are also relatively small pieces of software and
probably do not need a full patch management system since the patches are mostly build system
fixups and small minor changes.