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Reading and applying patches

Hi all,

I'm having some difficulty understanding patching in general. A little
background: I downloaded the source tarball for a program and it will
not "make" cleanly. Checking the forum on the website, someone had
published a patch in the form of text in an email that looks like this:

--- mlrate/mlrate.c 2003-01-27 10:31:31.000000000 +0100 
+++ mlrate.new/mlrate.c 2004-11-22 12:37:52.086783325 +0100 
@@ -25,6 +25,8 @@ 
#include <string.h> 
... and continues for a bit longer

I assume that I should copy and paste the text into a separate file and
save it. But how do I apply the patch to the source file, which is

Also, how do I read the file? From some patch files I have come across,
they have "pluses" and "minuses" and other notation. What do they mean?
Can someone point me to some URLs where I can understand more about
these patch files? 

Thanks in Advance!

Pascal Chong 
email:  chongym cymulacrum net 
web:    http://cymulacrum.net
pgp:    http://cymulacrum.net/pgp/cymulacrum.asc

"La science ne connaît pas de frontière parce que la connaissance
appartient à l’humanité. et que c’est la flamme qui illumine le monde."

-- Louis Pasteur

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