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Re: Makeinfo generates wrong link

From: Jonathan Wakely
Subject: Re: Makeinfo generates wrong link
Date: Mon, 3 Oct 2022 09:23:16 +0100

On Mon, 3 Oct 2022, 08:31 Jonathan Wakely, <jwakely.gcc@gmail.com> wrote:
On Mon, 3 Oct 2022 at 07:01, Gavin Smith via Gcc <gcc@gcc.gnu.org> wrote:
> On Sun, Oct 02, 2022 at 09:06:06PM -0400, Richard Stallman wrote:
> > generates the following output:
> >
> >     <li> Some macros are predefined on each kind of machine
> >     (see <a href="" href="https://gcc.gnu.org/onlinedocs/gcc/System_002dspecific-Predefined-Macros.html#System_002dspecific-Predefined-Macros" rel="noreferrer noreferrer" target="_blank">https://gcc.gnu.org/onlinedocs/gcc/System_002dspecific-Predefined-Macros.html#System_002dspecific-Predefined-Macros">System-specific Predefined Macros</a> in <cite>Using the GNU Compiler
> >     Collection</cite>).  This allows you to provide code specially tuned for a
> >     particular machine.
> >
> > but that link is broken.  The OP suggests this link
> >
> > https://gcc.gnu.org/onlinedocs/gcc-4.8.5/cpp/System-specific-Predefined-Macros.html
> >
> > may be correct.
> >
> > Where do those directory names come from?  Is there a table in makeinfo
> > that needs to be updated?
> It comes from the htmlxref.cnf file.  (It may be installed under
> /usr/share/texinfo/.) The link produced above matches the
> current entry for the "gcc" manual in that file.
> Changing that file would change the link, e.g.
> --- a/util/htmlxref.cnf
> +++ b/util/htmlxref.cnf
> @@ -340,7 +340,7 @@ gcal                mono    ${GS}/gcal/manual/gcal.html
>  gcal           node    ${GS}/gcal/manual/html_node/
>  GCC = https://gcc.gnu.org/onlinedocs
> -gcc            node    ${GCC}/gcc/
> +gcc            node    ${GCC}/gcc-4.8.5/
>   cpp           node    ${GCC}/cpp/
>   gfortran      node    ${GCC}/gfortran/
>   gnat_rm       node    ${GCC}/gnat_rm/
> However, it's wrong to make it link to a specific version.
> The gcc developers need to provide a stable, version-independent link
> for the manual.  This link would have worked in the past, but I don't
> know how recently it broke.

The URL https://gcc.gnu.org/onlinedocs/cpp/System-specific-Predefined-Macros.html
has been stable for many years.

Although in general the gcc.gnu.org/onlinedocs/gcc/... and gcc.gnu.org/onlinedocs/cpp/... pages are for the development trunk, and so they can change e.g. when texinfo changes how it escapes non-ASCII characters in output filenames, or when sections of the manual are renamed or removed (which isn't common, but is possible).

If you want a stable URL, consider linking to a specific release not the development trunk (but gcc-4.8.5 seems like a poor choice given its antiquity). Otherwise, if you do want to link from an external site to something in the development trunk docs, at least let the GCC project know so that we can try to put redirects in place if/when that URL changes.

> I'm attempting to CC the gcc mailing list stated on their documentation page
> to see if anyone there can give any information.

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