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advice for pre-generating documentation

From: Andreas Jellinghaus
Subject: advice for pre-generating documentation
Date: Thu, 11 Feb 2010 15:31:26 +0100
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we generate some docs with doxygen, others with a shell
script using wget and xslt to download our wiki and
create local html files from that).

that mechanism is currently enabled with "--enable-doc",
off by default as it is time-consuming and usualy not

the problem I have is this:
* I want people to checkout svn and compile and test the
  software without generating documentation.
* if people want the docs, they should be able to create
  them too.
* if I run "make distcheck", I want the existing documentation
  to be included in the tar.gz file.
* if I run "make maintainer-clean", I want generate documentation
  to be removed, so I can diff between a modified checkout and
  an unmodified svn checkout.

but our code to do all that is really ugly. so I wonder what the
best way to implement something like this is. can you give me an

from my point of view documentation is on the same level as
"configure" and "" - something we don't keep in
svn, but generate as first step after the checkout and
then distribute as part of the tar.gz to users. is there
some hook I can use to run custom commands easily from
autoconf/make/libtool? maybe even in a way I can turn
it on? (thus generate documentation only if asked)

any better idea? thanks for your help.

Regards, Andreas
p.s. if you want to see the code we currently have:
svn co
and look at the docs/ directory.

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