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missing help2man

From: Karl Berry
Subject: missing help2man
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2008 16:43:37 -0600

Hi everyone,

(Automake folks: Werner sent the following to bug-texinfo.)

    I've just tried to compile texinfo from the CVS; everything worked
    fine until info.1 was generated -- no help2man was installed on my
    system.  After fixing this, building succeeded.

    However, I've observed one minor issue: After the `make' error, a file
    `info.1' has been created with the contents

      .ab help2man is required to generate this page

    Running `make' again after installation of help2man retained this
    file, which is wrong.

    I suggest that in case help2man isn't found, the dummy version of
    info.1 gets removed (perhaps by adding `|| rm -f $@ && false' to the
    rules using HELP2MAN).

Although I could change this in Texinfo as you suggest, it seems to me
it affects every package using help2man and there's no reason to change
Texinfo specially.

The "missing" script (which is what gets invoked when help2man is
missing) is clearly creating the target file with that .ab line

I believe it does so because the idea is to let potential contributors
get on with the "real" work of the package without bothering with
help2man.  If it didn't generate the target, the error message would
persist forever.  (It also hardly matters if anyone not making a release
generates the real man pages.)

And it throws the make error so the user is likely to actually see the
issue and can install help2man if they so desire.

So I'm not seeing any useful change to make here ... ?


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