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Re: Contributing to Emacs Development

> Date: Sun, 12 Nov 2000 01:32:43 -0600
> From: srivasta@acm.org
> 	As I explained in another message, yes, an xref in the info
>  file of a non default info file may well lead to the default version
>  of the target. A correct solution of course would be to make the info
>  document system version aware

Practical suggestions for this version-awareness are welcome.

One solution I have in mind is some way for the user to tell an Info
reader explicitly what version of a certain file to fetch, via some
variable or command.  This, in addition to putting Info files in
version-specific directories, should solve all the possible cases
which were raised in this thread, including installation of Gnus on
top of a version that came with the latest Emacs distro.

> 	Stand alone viewers are not as easy; (I am averse to the
>  solution of writing wrapper scripts for each stand alone info viewer
>  that reorder the info path (info-e20, info-e21, etc)). 

I don't see where stand-alone readers don't fit into this scheme.
Could you point out the problems with stand-alone readers you have in

> 	We'll be happy to listen to a solution for the remainder of
>  the cases; however, I do believe this is not something to be handled
>  at the packaging level; but it is a design issue with texinfo system
>  as a whole.

I don't think packaging should solve these problems.  I started this
thread with the intent to learn about problems and their possible
solutions based on Debian experience.  I never meant to say that the
Debian packaging should have solved those problems, or that Debian are
responsible for them.

The only complaint I have about the specific (and the only) Debian
system which I sometimes use on fencepost.gnu.org is that C-h C-f is
broken there.  I understand the reasons for post-processing Info
files, but unfortunately it breaks features which work in a simple
single-version installation for the sake of allowing multiple versions
for which I personally have no use.  (I'd imagine that
fencepost.gnu.org is one machine where there should always be the
latest Emacs, and it alone ;-)

>  the info system is trying to be a document management
>  system for program documentation; perhaps it should borrow some
>  versioning concepts from formal SGML document management systems? 

Could you please elaborate on those concepts, and on how do they
pertain to Texinfo?

> 	Incidentally, what is supposed to be the general solution, ie,
>  for non Debian systems? How are multiple versions of programs
>  providing documentation in info formats handled?

They aren't; Info does not currently support different versions of the
same manual on the same machine.  I started this discussion in the
hope that we could arrive at possible solutions, or directions to
solutions.  (Karl Berry <karl@freefriends.org> is the GNU Texinfo
maintainer, in case you didn't know.)

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