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Re: Intention to re-write /usr/sbin/install-info

On Mon, 1 Sep 1997, Brandon Mitchell wrote:

> On Mon, 1 Sep 1997, Christian Schwarz wrote:
> > I strongly object! Please don't rename our install-info just because the
> > FSF has a program with the same name. Every package out there that
> > installs GNU info docs uses this script and might fail.
> Wait a minute, from what I understood, every non-debian package installing
> GNU info docs was already failing.  I'm trying to fix something that is
> broken, not break something that is working.

I apologize if I overreacted.

I just read this whole thread again (twice) to see what was actually
suggested. Perhaps it's good to discuss the "final solution" we want to
implement first, and then check out how we want to get there.

If the FSF has now its own "install-info" program which does everything we
need (I don't know this yet) then we should consider dropping our
install-info _in the long run_ and use their version. (Of course, this
can't be done today since we might break lots of packages.)

This brings up another point: Remember the thread about "Documentation
Policy" a few weeks ago? I think we have found a good solution/compromise,
which has to be implemented now. I wanted to start working on this but was
to busy the last weeks. (This has to be done soon now, so it would be nice
if a few volunteers would help me.)

The new doc policy will also cover GNU info docs. The solution we worked
out was that every package registers all documentation files to one
program which decides (depending on its configuration) what to do with the
docs. This package will be called "doc-base".

(The idea behind this was that each sysadmin has his/her own preferred
documentation format. HTML is Debian's default, so most systems won't need
plain GNU info files. If if the sysadmin prefers texinfo, the HTML files
can be deleted and info files can be generated on demand. With the same
method, PostScript documentation can be generated on demand. In addition, 
doc-base will also support SGML, text, HTML, etc. documentation.)

Since every program has to register the docs to doc-base using a unique
interface (for all doc formats), packages will not call "install-info"
directly, but some "register-docs" (or similar) tool from doc-base. This
tool will call install-info. 

Thus, we could use the change from install-info to register-docs to
support FSF's install-info--if this fits our needs.

The status of doc-base: I started to write a "Documentation Policy Manual"
some weeks ago based on the results of a few discussion on this topic.
Now, we'd have to define the package's interface to doc-base and implement
this. This all should be done in the next weeks so that the maintainers
have enough time to update their packages for Debian 2.0.




--                  Christian Schwarz
                   schwarz@monet.m.isar.de, schwarz@schwarz-online.com
                  schwarz@debian.org, schwarz@mathematik.tu-muenchen.de
                PGP-fp: 8F 61 EB 6D CF 23 CA D7  34 05 14 5C C8 DC 22 BA
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