To help Bas with the transition to GDAL 1.11.0, I cherry-picked some commits from LibLAS upstream so that LibLAS was able to build against this latest GDAL version which is sitting in Debian Experimental.
This involved me setting up Pbuilder to install needed packages from the NEW queue and Debian Experimental.
Firstly, liblaszip is currently waiting in the NEW queue, so pbuilder could not build libLAS. Therefore, even though I could just drop that dependency (and eventually did for the release), I decided to set up a local package repository with mini-dinstall. I used the Ubuntu wiki page (https://wiki.ubuntu.com/PbuilderHowto) as a guide. This way I could build liblaszip directly from the Alioth git repository, sign it, and dput it to my local package repository. By updating my pbuilderrc configuration file with this local repository as “OTHERMIRROR”, pbuilder is able to satisfy the missing build dependency.
Secondly, I needed to build against the version of GDAL (1.11.0) which was currently in Debian Experimental. For this, I created a “hook” directory with the apt-preferences information for GDAL. By logging into the pbuiler chroot I can enable the experimental distribution in sources.list, and then update pbuilder forcing it to read from pbuilderrc and then pickup the apt-preferences information. Now I must remember to disable “experimental” when I am finished with it!
The following webpages were also useful during the learning process: