Re: About doc-base, dwww, dhelp, and everything else :)
Am 13.04.98 schrieb schwarz # monet.m.isar.de ...
CS> From reading the latest mails on the current discussions here on
CS> debian-doc, I got the impression that we are not making any progress.
I don#t think so. We#re on a good waking to get one file format and one
structure. That#s a good beginning.
CS> Note, that we had these discussions a few times already, including the
CS> this is wanted, I could send a public announcement to debian-user
CS> and debian-devel that we are discussing these topics on debian-doc
CS> now, and that everyone is welcomed to join our discussion. (Please
CS> tell me if this is wanted.)
Not at the moment.
CS> A: I made several attempts (in private email) to either merge dwww
CS> and dhelp or at least have them support a unique package
CS> interface, at the time when dhelp was introduced. Unfortunately,
If#ve asked several times to get one format and I#ve never got a real
CS> all these attempts failed. (I think the current discussions makes
CS> the reasons for this quite obvious.)
I don#t think so.
CS> Q: Why doesn't current policy at least `suggest' the use of dwww or
A really good question for Hamm.
CS> - people take policy suggestions very seriously
CS> (i.e., people would start filing bug reports against packages that
CS> don't follow these suggestions)
And where#s the problem? That show that the people think that we need such
CS> - if policy would suggest that packages support two different
CS> types of _Debian native_ packages for the same purpose, this
CS> would be considered as a `bug in the Debian policy'
Why? Packages support for example Motif and lesstif. Where#s the bug? But
I#m really interested in one format.
CS> (for example, we had this problem with the `md5sums' files that
CS> have been invented by debstd--a tool which has never been approved
CS> by the developers)
Most "standards" are not improved by the developers but only by some few
CS> A: In all discussions about this topic we noticed, that people don't
CS> want us to ship a single documentation format, but to give the
CS> user a maximum of flexibility. However, a lot of people run Debian
CS> a) ship all possible formats in Debian packages
CS> ==> would generate a lot more packages--but we already have
CS> too many packages from the `default' user's point of view
That#s a problem of dpkg. For example you could add all documents to one
package and delete some after the installation.
CS> ==> would make the Debian distribution a lot larger (IMO, we
CS> are already to big)
To big? Other distributions are sold on 4 CDs (SuSE).
CS> b) make different formats available on our ftp server
CS> ==> for some users (e.g., most people in Europe) Internet
CS> access is expensive, so these people would not have easy
CS> access to all documentation
That#s not right, we could add this files to our CD.
CS> ==> it would be a lot of additional work for our maintainers
That#s right, but quality is one of the arguments to buy Debian Linux.
CS> d) ship plain HTML files _AND_ the document source format in
CS> the packages
In one package?
CS> ==> the users who want some special format (e.g., PostScript
CS> for printed documentation) can easily generate these
CS> formats, either at installation time or at any time later
Ok. Maybe a solution. But I#m note sure, if that is the best solution.
Maybe we could try this solution.
CS> A: No. Perl is fast enough for our purposes here--even on slow
Sorry, but that is nonsense.
CS> As Perl has proven to be a very useful language for such tasks,
CS> we've decided (with the necessary majority under all developers),
CS> to include a subset of the Perl package, `perl-base,' in the base
CS> system and tag it `Essential.' This guarantees, that Perl and a
CS> subset of its modules is installed on all Debian systems.
That#s right, but this is not the problem. Perl is to slow for a lot of
systems, especially if you install hundrets of packages. On slow machines
it takes some seconds to start the Perl interpreter.
And I don#t see, why we need Perl.
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