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Re: our broken man package

On Thu, Jan 04, 2001 at 09:04:50AM +0000, Lars Wirzenius wrote:
> Ethan Benson <erbenson@alaska.net>:
> > OpenBSD took another tack on this problem and just did away with
> > cached man pages altogether.  (no suid or sgid man) 
> They always re-format a manual page? This might be reasonable, actually.

and some of them filter all the pages through tbl even if only 1/6 of
them needs it.

> Groff is pretty fast, and most manual pages are short, so it shouldn't
> take too long even on older hardware.

but some are soo big. Bash and perl* are good examples.

> And, anyway, caching might be done in a cronjob: look at the pages in
> manpath every night, check which ones have been accessed since the past
> run, and format those. Then delete anything older than N days in the
> cache. When displaying, use the cached version only if it is newer than
> the source.

Lars, this is exactly the way it works today.
Apart from your strange idea to cache what has been accessed during the
day. As caching is done at access time, they are already cached! The
actual cron.daily removes them after 6 days. And the cached version is
used not only if it's newer then the source, but also if the you
specifyed the same preprocessor options.
This info is stored in the db. While makewhatis only collects
name+description, mandb also stores timestamp, formatting options and
type of file.

I'm planning to add caching not only for ascii formatted pages, but also
for html output (which is now available directly from groff). In this
case preformatting all pages would be interesting.

> On the other hand, we might want to copy the OpenBSD version instead
> of maintaining our own man. But I leave that to whoever maintains the
> packages.

I would prefere the man in plan9. It's the cleaner and simpler I've ever

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