Bug#974724: no useful documentation of pdfjam commands
tags 974724 + wontfix
> And who decided to put dozens of separate tools into monster packages?
That was a decision back 15 years ago on debian-devel, where I asked
whether we should package each TeX Live package into a single Debian
package or make groups according to the collections of TeX Live.
So, please go back to the archives and search for an email of me
proposing to package TeX Live, must be about 15 years ago.
> Pre-Condition: As a regular user, I want to use a simple tool to merge
> (join, concatenate, append...) a couple of existing PDF files. I don't
> want to learn Latex language, my PDFs dont have much to do with Latex.
Then why don't you use a tool that doesn't use LaTeX, but maybe
something else, like pdftk?
> First, what is texdoc anyway?
> $ man pdfjam | grep texdoc
Did I send you that command line? I would normally expect that someone
using Debian and has considerabl experience, is aware that the correct
> A regular user has no idea about this command. Why should we even care?
Well, at least in the TeX World it is well known.
> Even if the user knows learned this somehow by accident, your command
> opens a browser, which wants me to open the MD file in a special editor
> which is totally inappropriate. I guess you call sensible-browser there?
That is a problem with your mime-type setup, and nothing I can
influence. Look into your mime type associations for .md files. This is
> If so, why do you that for non-HTML contents? This does not make sense.
> Why not use sensible-pager? Or "see"?
It uses xdg-open.
> > texdoc pdfpages
> > gives you the documentation of the additional key/value pairs accepted.
> No, it doesn't.
Well ... because ...
> Okay, with some luck (and knowledge how to use apt-file) one can find:
> texlive-latex-recommended-doc: /usr/share/doc/texlive-doc/latex/pdfpages/pdfpages.pdf
Which you didn't install, right? Despite being a
Sorry, it is up to you if you override the recommendations of the
maintainers to deal with the outcome.
> So even after all that guessing one has to install FIFTY megabytes of
> docs to learn about a couple of command line options of a simple tool
> which does not even have obvious relationship to Latex in the first
> place? SERIOUSLY?
Feel free to use the link to CTAN to only read the one document.
> And then even when going the hard way with pdfpages docs, it's not
> perfectly clear how exactly to convert those documentation into pdfnup
> command line options.
It is, pdfjam clearly states that the KEYS are the key=value pairs from
> And by the way, if this is the way to go (which I doubt) then that way
> should be documented in /usr/share/doc/texlive-extra-utils/README.Debian
> somehow. Is it? Hardly, IMHO. And what do find there instead?
What should be documented? Maybe
If you choose to not install documentation packages which are
recommended, don't you wonder that you might miss something?
Or something similar?
Ok, I pose you a good question:
Please come up with a better way to provide 2.9G (!!!) of
documentation, that is what TeX Live is shipping.
Make a decent proposal, and send pull requests to the packaging
infrastructure at github.com/debian-tex/
I am anxiously waiting.
> Why should I expect that? I didn't ever care about what it uses
> underneath. I expect it, like any other tool, to document ITS OWN BASIC
> operations properly. If that's is too complicated to be stored in a
Please bring this up to the author of pdfjam.
The TeX Live Debian Team packages what TeX Live ships.
TeX Live includes what authors ship.
We only accept bugs that are related to Debian packaging or upstream =
TeX Live, but not for bugs that are in single packages (= up-upstream).
Please go ahead and report to pdfjam upstream.
> > It says that it is any of the many keys of pdfpages, so you need to read
> > the documentation of pdfpages, which incidentally can be found with the
> > above command.
> Why? $USER installs a basic tool and wants to
Because the author of pdfjam has decided so. If you don't like it, why
don't you stop complaining and simply use a different tool? I already
sugested one, pdftk.
PREINING Norbert https://www.preining.info
Accelia Inc. + IFMGA ProGuide + TU Wien + JAIST + TeX Live + Debian Dev
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