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Re: Bug#793067: Bug#792328: info: can no longer find the Emacs manual

From: Rob Browning
Subject: Re: Bug#793067: Bug#792328: info: can no longer find the Emacs manual
Date: Fri, 27 Nov 2015 15:14:02 -0600
User-agent: Notmuch/0.20.1 (http://notmuchmail.org) Emacs/24.5.1 (x86_64-pc-linux-gnu)

Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden> writes:

> In any case, it makes little sense to me to complicate the
> installation of binaries and their upgrade, and make your PATH longer,
> just to arrive at a solution we can already have -- separating just
> the manuals and having the corresponding directories on INFOPATH.

OK, so I'm not sure I've accurately followed the entire conversation,
but here's what I'm currently contemplating for at least Debian Emacs
and Guile, and I wondered if it seems plausible given the current tools:

  - Put all of an Emacs version's info pages in /usr/share/info/emacs-XY
    as we do now, but stop trying to mangle the dir entries (or anything
    else for that matter).

  - Have Emacs continue to add its version-specific info dir
    (/usr/share/info/emacs-XY) to the front of the info path so that if
    invoked directly, /usr/bin/emacs-XY will prefer its own pages by

  - Manage /usr/share/info/emacs.info.gz via Debian's
    update-alternatives (with all the other related files as --slave
    pages: i.e. emacs.info-*, calc, org, etc.).  This should allow the
    standalone reader (and anything else) to find the system preferred
    info pages by default.

  - Document that if you have multiple versions installed, and you want
    to read the pages for an alternative that's not the default with the
    standalone reader, you can use "info -d /usr/share/info/emacs-XY
    ...".  For Emacs you'd need to prepend to the Info-directory-list.

The main change is the use of update-alternatives which should make the
Debian info arrangement look substantially less unusual.  (This approach
does depend on update-alternatives handling sets reasonably whose
--slave link sets differ - which I need to double-check.)

Rob Browning
rlb @defaultvalue.org and @debian.org
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