Most of the changes relate to getting a cross-building autobuilder. The need to continually updated patches (most of the relevant bugs are already filed) complicates the normal autobuild process, on top of the cross-building requirements. The one bug that would have an immense impact on reducing these patches is 448615 - dh_installdocs : Please consider a separate handler for debian/copyright for embedded use. (hint, Joey?)
The autobuilder is experimental - it mostly works on my own systems but there are a few gotchas:
Having patches in SVN means that noninteractive mode for a prolonged distro-wide build needs to be handled as anonymous - which means a separate tree for those with authenticated SVN access. Yes, I could try svn:switch and then svn:switch back but that would cause more trouble than it is worth IMHO (and potentially be a minefield to automate). Besides, authenticated SVN is only part of the problem:
sudo suffers the same problem of caching timing out.
The solution is to use the existing empdebuild cross-building chroot. It causes a few problems itself but those are things that I'm confident the scripts can solve. Hooks for customised dput.cf config and custom upload scripts for the build logs are implemented in 1.1.5.
Once I can get widespread "nodocs" support in Debian and then file the rest of the long term mass bug filing for cross build support bugs to implement "nodocs" and "nochecks" in packages that don't use debhelper (or at least don't use debhelper exclusively).
The goal, as ever, is to get full cross building support into all relevant Debian packages, maintain a cross-building autobuilder and move towards making Emdebian an unofficial port alongside kfreebsd.