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Re: Next approach: Documentation Policy

On Wed, 2 Jul 1997, Federico Di Gregorio wrote:

> > Fernando wrote:
> > 
> > >So why we are still distributing the man sources instead of pre-formatted
> > >man pages? 
> > 
> > So we can format them nicely in PostScript with "man -t".
> If this is true why dont we shif .texi sources so that everybody
> can format them nicely in PostScript with "tex ; dvips"?

I just picked two .texi files at random (mysql-faq, and bashref) and tried
to run "makeinfo" and "tex" on them. Both had compilation problems with at
least one of these two programs. (Perhaps I was just unlucky.)

Of course, it looks like a good idea to just ship the .texi source code
and let the user decide which formats he/she wants to get. There are some
problems, though:

  - compilation takes some time on slow computers

  - you need a lot of packages to make all compilers work (I think we
would have to try to assemble them in a single package)

  - it's hard to get the compilation error free (see above)

My experience is (though I'm really no export here), that "makeinfo"
usually does not have much problems and is quite fast. "texi2html" is
slow. "tex" (to get the postscript output) is _very slow_.

So what about this:

  - we ship precompiled HTML files _and_ texinfo source code 

  - /usr/info/*.info files are generated on request, only

  - PostScript files can be compiled on request (requires some packages,
though) or can be downloaded from a ftp server

Any comments?



--                  Christian Schwarz
                   schwarz@monet.m.isar.de, schwarz@schwarz-online.com
                  schwarz@debian.org, schwarz@mathematik.tu-muenchen.de
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