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Re: missing help2man

From: Karl Berry
Subject: Re: missing help2man
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 2008 18:01:42 -0600

    > 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.

    I don't think so.  The difference to other packages is probably that

Sorry, I still do.  I don't see that texinfo is doing anything different
than (say) coreutils, wrt help2man.

    texinfo doesn't check the existence of help2man at configure time
    which would basically the right thing to do.  

I don't think that would be the right thing to do.  We certainly don't
want help2man to be required by anyone except those building from CVS.
(And it hardly matters even for most of those; the only time it really
matters is when making a release.)

    Instead, it is a
    run-time requirement caused by the --enable-mainter switch.

I was not aware that --enable-maintainer-mode has anything to do with
help2man.  The reason I do that for Texinfo is simply to disable
autotool dependencies for the sake of importing Texinfo into TeX Live.
When I will remove Texinfo from TL (sometime before the next TL
release), it won't need --enable-maintainer any more.  I guess I should
take it out of the dev sources now; but I don't see how it's going to
change anything about your report.

    Do you suggest to call make repeatedly until all dummy man pages
    are created?  I can't believe that.

Agreed, that is bad, but I still see no better alternative.

    And the result is that I get all man pages right except the
    first one (which stays with the `.ab' error message).  Not a useful
    behaviour IMHO.

Agreed, that is bad, but I still see no better alternative.  And it
doesn't hurt you, because you're not making a Texinfo release.

I still believe that the fix for this, if there is one, belongs in
missing and/or automake, not texinfo.


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