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Re: Gzipped .dvi files?

On Thu, 29 Jan 1998 Marcus.Brinkmann@ruhr-uni-bochum.de wrote:

> On Thu, 29 Jan 1998, Remco Blaakmeer wrote:
> > Hi,
> > 
> > I found these gzipped .dvi files on my system:
> > 
> > /usr/doc/chktex/ChkTeX.dvi.gz
> > /usr/doc/debian-policy/fsstnd/fsstnd-1.2.dvi.gz
> > /usr/doc/fdutils/Fdutils.dvi.gz
> > /usr/doc/lde/ext2fs.dvi.gz
> > /usr/doc/lde/minix.dvi.gz
> > 
> > Now that the tetex packages don't gzip the .dvi docs, should all .dvi.gz
> > files be gunzipped? .dvi.gz files are a real pain in the ass, because xdvi
> > (and probably others) can't read .dvi files from stdin.
> No. All documentation, that is not short, has to
> be gzipped. This is requested by policy and was discussed often and
> thoroughly (sp?). dvi files tend to be rather long, and not everyone needs
> them. They are no pain in the ass, because you can quite easily do 
> zcat <file>.dvi.gz /tmp/<file>.dvi
> and then point your favourite dvi viewer to this location.

This all is true, but it's IMHO sub-optimal--and perhaps we can have a
better solution: In the past, there have been lots of discussions about in
which format documentation should be provided, whether it should be
compressed or not, etc. The result has been, that one can't get a
consensus among the developers for either format. 

Thus, a flexible and more general solution has been developed: doc-base.
That's a package which manages documentation provided by other packages.
Each package installing a piece of documentation (no matter which
format--anything except manual pages) will register the documents to
doc-base through the postinst script.

Then, doc-base could process the documentation files
automatically--depending on a configuration file which can be changed by
the local system.

In case of .dvi documentation this would mean: A package installs a
.dvi.gz file into the usual location (somewhere below /usr/doc/<pkg>) and
registers these files to doc-base through the postinst script. 

doc-base will then check for a global /etc/doc.conf file (or something
like that) and, depending on the setup, either

  a) remove the .dvi.gz files completely since the sysadmin don't want
     any .dvi files at all, or

  b) uncompress the .dvi files, or

  c) leave them as they are (as .dvi.gz)

In addition, doc-base could also register the manuals to our online help
systems (dwww and dhelp). 

I'll release a first version of doc-base in the next days. That's a
pre-alpha version that only supports to register documents to the online
help systems. Features like the processing of .dvi files could then be
easily added.

Any comments (or even help with the implementation) is highly appreciated!



--                 Christian Schwarz
Do you know         schwarz@monet.m.isar.de, schwarz@schwarz-online.com,
Debian GNU/Linux?    schwarz@debian.org, schwarz@mathematik.tu-muenchen.de
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http://www.debian.org   http://fatman.mathematik.tu-muenchen.de/~schwarz/

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