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Re: Bug#1290: cached man pages

Taken this out of debian-bugs because I wish to make a more general

Are there other files which might get cached in this manner?

For example, I can imagine someone coming up with a script to cache
DVI or Postscript versions of documentation supplied in TeX for
arbitrary packages; changing all the packages which supply TeX
documentation to support this would probably be a bad thing, and
similarly I think making man pages special on a per-package basis
should also be avoided if possible.

Alvar Bray writes:

>We could make dpkg set the time on installed files to the
>installation rather than the archive time. This will ensure that any
>existing catman pages are rebuilt after a package install.  Im sure
>lots of people like to see the creation (archive) dates rather than
>installation dates on files though. Personally I dont care about
>this. Normally people use these dates for version comparisons
>etc. they could use md5sum, ls etc. instead.

I think people should be comparing on the basis of the version numbers
of Debian packages rather than the dates of the files they contain.

However, there is a problem with this scheme; it means that the man
pages will get rebuilt even if they haven't actually changed between
different package versions.  (They may anyway, but it should be
avoidable ATM.)

>What to do about stray catman pages left behind? They should be
>deleted. dpkg knows when things are deinstall so this is probably the
>best tool to remove then. Maybe a script to grep/sed/awk the .list
>file to generate possibe catman name to delete. Maybe the scripts used
>to delete old catman pages could also check for straycats and delete
>them. (but not under the local hierachy?)

How about having a weekly (or maybe even monthly) cron job which
checks that all the catpages have corresponding man pages still on the
system and removes any that don't?

Richard Kettlewell                 <URL:http://www.elmail.co.uk/staff/richard/>
Home+work: <richard@elmail.co.uk>       Home only: <richard@sfere.elmail.co.uk>

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