[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Next approach: Documentation Policy

Christian Schwarz wrote:
> No, I talked about the "*.info" files. Someone else said here, some time
> ago, that the intention of a Linux distribution is to provide the people
> with "compiled files", not with the source that everyone has to compile.
> Some people have slow computers, little memory, etc. and they surely don't
> want to compile these files themselves all the time (whenever a package is
> installed, upgraded, etc.).

So why we are still distributing the man sources instead of pre-formatted
man pages? 

Please note that makeinfo (the info compiler) is much faster than groff (the
man compiler).

And you did not answer my other concerns about not distributing documents
in source format. I summarize them and add a few points:

	- The speed of compiling sources is reasonable enough in most cases.
	- On demand compiling works for man, it should work for info too.
	- On-the-fly conversion to html is good enough in many cases.
	- Makeinfo is fast, groff is slow.
	- Users may want to print the documents. They need the source for that.
	- Users may want to automatically process the sources or convert them
	  to a non-standard format.
	- Texinfo files are nicer when viewed with the texi2html converter.

Did you read my alternative proposal? I think it issues important points
not covered in the present one, like treatment of binary documents, fallthrough
methods for man and info when not installed and (IMHO) a nice and consistent
solution to the problem of when to include multiple formats in a package.
Even if you don't agree with everything I still think you should consider
some parts of it.

One problem I see with the texi2html program is that it depends on Perl, which
makes it very slow in an old computer. I was trying to modify it to do
on-the-fly conversion but I have switched to makeinfo, which is very fast
even in my old 386. I am adapting makeinfo to produce on-the-fly html output
instead of info output.


TO UNSUBSCRIBE FROM THIS MAILING LIST: e-mail the word "unsubscribe" to
debian-devel-request@lists.debian.org . Trouble? 
e-mail to templin@bucknell.edu .

Reply to: