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Re: html texinfo install?

From: Karl Berry
Subject: Re: html texinfo install?
Date: Tue, 17 Feb 2004 12:58:51 -0500

We seem to be operating from different starting places.

What I'm concerned about is the standard method for installing GNU
packages: if a user downloads and unpacks foo-1.2.tar.gz, and types
"./configure && make install", they should not need to have any version
of Texinfo (or Bison or Flex or ...) installed at all.  I hope and think
we all agree on this.  In any case, it has been a GNU standard for many

Given the above, we can either propose that (a) `install' does not
install HTML or any other generated doc files except Info (my
preference), or (b) installers have to include HTML (and any other
formats) in the distribution.  There is no other way, as far as I can
see.  The existence of a separate package containing the html/whatever
docs is irrelevant.

As for other ways of making HTML, sure, but I don't see that we can or
need to say anything about this in the coding standards.  They wouldn't
use the texinfodata/texinfohtml variables anyway.  However, we could
account for this by making the html target depend on texinfohtml if
texinfo files are present; then it would be easier for other methods to
be incorporated.

Having configure options such as --enable-doc-html is fine, if for some
reason installers want to (re)generate the files.  Once again, in my
view they should all be disabled by default, else all the formats have
to be included in the distribution, and IMHO that is too wasteful.

I can't imagine any method for autoconf to test for a "good enough"
Texinfo, since there's no way to specify exactly which Texinfo features
are (a) used in the source docs, or (b) implemented in the available

Summarizing, I propose two new standard variables:
texinfodata = $(datadir)/texinfo
texinfohtml = $(texinfodata)/html

And three new standard targets:
texinfohtml - make html from texinfo manuals
install-texinfohtml - install such html to $(texinfohtml)
uninstall-texinfohtml - remove such html from $(texinfohtml)

And that all and install are not changed.

And, once again, the purpose of all this is simply to give
cross-references between manuals, when browsing with file:///localhost,
a better chance of working.


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