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Re: Documentation for "Clone Buffers" (corrected version)

From: Stefan Monnier
Subject: Re: Documentation for "Clone Buffers" (corrected version)
Date: 22 Mar 2004 11:10:05 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.3.50

>     info to include libc's index by default, you can just say `info strcpy'
> Although automatically looking in libc's index would probably work for
> 90% of cases in practice, it does not solve the general problem.

Without reading the user's mind, there's no way to handle `info strcpy'
100%, and neither does `man' handle it 100% (for the same reason).  So what
you're saying here is not a criticism, unless you mean some specific
problem, but I can't read your mind either.

> Thus my original idea (although I guess I did not fully explain it):
> 1have one subnode of dir for commands, one for library functions, one for
> file formats, etc., analogous to the man sections.  Keep the top level
> dir itself for the manuals as a whole.  The subnodes would be other menu
> entries as usual:

>From a speed point of view, it might be good to put those many items in
subnodes of `dir', but then comes the problem of keeping those entries up to
date when updating manuals.  So unless there's a way to "rebuild `dir' from
scratch" in a completely automatic way (which AFAIK, there is not right
now), it would be much better to not include copies of all those entries but
instead to just add some pointers to big menus in the manuals themselves.
Such pointers could point either to the manual's toplevel menu or to
some index.

> Such a Functions node will get very big (there are 6200 entries in my
> /usr/share/man/man3) but I don't see another answer.

Note that there is no copying invloved with `man' (unless you build the
whatis database), so nothing to keep consistent, whereas in your case you'd
have to make sure the Functions node doesn't hold stale data.

> We would have to change the Texinfo language and the install-info
> program to allow for installing entries in such a subnode of dir.
> @dircategory/@direntry do not suffice.

My suggestion doesn't require any such thing: just add to the `dir' node
(or somesuch) the list of (index or toplevel) subnodes to look up by
default and you're done.


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