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Re: Compressed info files

From: Gavin Smith
Subject: Re: Compressed info files
Date: Thu, 5 Mar 2015 09:38:27 +0000

On 5 March 2015 at 08:42, Akim Demaille <address@hidden> wrote:
> I kinda discovered that info can read compressed files.
> This is excellent news, but it seems poorly documented.
> I can find information about install-info being able to
> read compressed files and compressed dir files, but that's
> it!

There is mention of it under the -f option at
In the version of the documentation in the current development
repository, this description is moved up to the top because it is not
just done when using the -f option, so it will be more visible.

Compressed files can opened at other times than when invoking Info,
however; the most common case would be following a cross-reference,
either in standalone Info or Emacs Info. As you say, this does not
seem to be documented anywhere.
> Shouldn't install-info also support a means to compress
> when installing?

Contrary to expectations, install-info doesn't copy the file to the
installation directory, it only updates the dir file. As long as this
is the case, I think compression should be done separately, probably
in Makefile rules.

> This is prompted by the people at MacPorts that are considering
> not installing the documentation of Bison, to save disk space.
> The info file is 537KB uncompressed, 147KB with gzip, and 112KB
> with bzip2.
> Shouldn't Automake also help install compressed files?
> Shouldn't the GNU Coding Standards promote installing compressed
> info files and man pages?

Some GNU/Linux distributions already compress the info files, but as
you say it doesn't seem to be done automatically by the Automake

I guess you could propose an option for Automake to do this. Maybe
there could be a "INFO_COMPRESSION_PROGRAM" variable, or options like
"info-gzip", "info-bzip2", "info-xz" (mirroring the "dist-xz" etc.

Automake manual for reference:

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