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Re: About doc-base, dwww, dhelp, and everything else :)

Am 13.04.98 schrieb schwarz # monet.m.isar.de ...

Moin Christian!

CS> From reading the latest mails on the current discussions here on
CS> debian-doc, I got the impression that we are not making any progress.

I don#t think so. We#re on a good waking to get one file format and one  
structure. That#s a good beginning.

CS> Note, that we had these discussions a few times already, including the


CS>     this is wanted, I could send a public announcement to debian-user
CS>     and debian-devel that we are discussing these topics on debian-doc
CS>     now, and that everyone is welcomed to join our discussion. (Please
CS>     tell me if this is wanted.)

Not at the moment.

CS>  A: I made several attempts (in private email) to either merge dwww
CS>     and dhelp or at least have them support a unique package


CS>     interface, at the time when dhelp was introduced. Unfortunately,

If#ve asked several times to get one format and I#ve never got a real  

CS>     all these attempts failed. (I think the current discussions makes
CS>     the reasons for this quite obvious.)

I don#t think so.

CS>  Q: Why doesn't current policy at least `suggest' the use of dwww or
CS>     dhelp?

A really good question for Hamm.

CS>      - people take policy suggestions very seriously
CS>        (i.e., people would start filing bug reports against packages that
CS>        don't follow these suggestions)

And where#s the problem? That show that the people think that we need such  
a system.

CS>      - if policy would suggest that packages support two different
CS>        types of _Debian native_ packages for the same purpose, this
CS>        would be considered as a `bug in the Debian policy'

Why? Packages support for example Motif and lesstif. Where#s the bug? But  
I#m really interested in one format.

CS>        (for example, we had this problem with the `md5sums' files that
CS>        have been invented by debstd--a tool which has never been approved
CS>        by the developers)

Most "standards" are not improved by the developers but only by some few  

CS>  A: In all discussions about this topic we noticed, that people don't
CS>     want us to ship a single documentation format, but to give the
CS>     user a maximum of flexibility. However, a lot of people run Debian


CS>       a) ship all possible formats in Debian packages
CS>          ==> would generate a lot more packages--but we already have
CS>              too many packages from the `default' user's point of view

That#s a problem of dpkg. For example you could add all documents to one  
package and delete some after the installation.

CS>          ==> would make the Debian distribution a lot larger (IMO, we
CS>              are already to big)

To big? Other distributions are sold on 4 CDs (SuSE).

CS>       b) make different formats available on our ftp server
CS>          ==> for some users (e.g., most people in Europe) Internet
CS>              access is expensive, so these people would not have easy
CS>              access to all documentation

That#s not right, we could add this files to our CD.

CS>          ==> it would be a lot of additional work for our maintainers

That#s right, but quality is one of the arguments to buy Debian Linux.

CS>       d) ship plain HTML files _AND_ the document source format in
CS>          the packages

In one package?

CS>          ==> the users who want some special format (e.g., PostScript
CS>              for printed documentation) can easily generate these
CS>              formats, either at installation time or at any time later

Ok. Maybe a solution. But I#m note sure, if that is the best solution.  
Maybe we could try this solution.

CS>  A: No. Perl is fast enough for our purposes here--even on slow
CS>     computers.

Sorry, but that is nonsense.

CS>     As Perl has proven to be a very useful language for such tasks,
CS>     we've decided (with the necessary majority under all developers),
CS>     to include a subset of the Perl package, `perl-base,' in the base
CS>     system and tag it `Essential.' This guarantees, that Perl and a
CS>     subset of its modules is installed on all Debian systems.

That#s right, but this is not the problem. Perl is to slow for a lot of  
systems, especially if you install hundrets of packages. On slow machines  
it takes some seconds to start the Perl interpreter.
And I don#t see, why we need Perl.

cu, Marco

Uni: Budde@tu-harburg.de           Fido: 2:240/5202.15
Mailbox: mbudde@hqsys.antar.com    http://www.tu-harburg.de/~semb2204/

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