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Re: Documentation Policy

Bruce Perens wrote:

> Rather than make any of lynx, dwww, and boa part of the base system,
> I'd mark them "important". The base system has the sole purpose of


> editor the user has selected). In the case of a floppy install, the user
> would probably prefer that we not add another three floppies.

Boa is 60K, dwww is 40K, lynx is 500K. It would fit in just one floppy.
Anyway, you are right. It is not worth an extra floppy.


> > *) The package dwww should be marked important. It should provide
> > on-the-fly converters (as CGI programs) for as many formats as
> > possible. No converter should depend on a non-required package.
> I think this should be handled by making dwww depend on the packages
> that provide its converters.

Of course. But I was proposing a stronger restriction: that the packages
dwww depends on should be part of the "core" distribution, not optional.
This might mean moving some other packages to important status.

This discussion makes me think that we might indeed need two "base" directories
in the distribution:

base	Essential programs needed for bootstrapping (and floppies)
core	General purpose packages that are expected to be installed
        by default in any Debian system.

The core directory would contain a default editor, a default web browser,
posix-required packages, a default mailer (MUA and MTA)...
That is better than marking "important" packages spread all over the place.
But this is a different topic...


> Note that on-the-fly conversion is sometimes awfuly slow. Try it on a 386.
> I suppose you can cache pre-converted pages.



> > *) Until there is a better option available, dpkg should include a script
> > to automate the process of unpacking the /usr/doc/package part of a
> > package without installing it. This is to allow users to install
> > documentation of packages which conflict with an installed one.
> > Users might need to manually remove the directory /usr/doc/package
> > when they no longer need it.
> > Scripts to register and unregister documents with dwww should be
> > provided in order to properly handle this case
> Is anyone interested in writing this?

# install documents contained in a debian file
# usage: $0 debfile

dpkg --fsys-tarfile $1 | tar xpCf / - usr/doc

[It can be improved, but that is the idea]

For the registration scripts, I could help the dwww maintainer if he agrees.


> > *) Man pages should be installed in raw format and converted to HTML
> > on-the-fly. Since a man->html converter which does not depend on groff
> > is possible, neither "groff" nor "man" should be installed by
> > default.
> This is fine _only_ if you bring provide a "man" command that invokes lynx
> on the appropriate page. This is simple to do and would forestall a ton
> of complaints.


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