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Re: missing help2man

From: Ralf Wildenhues
Subject: Re: missing help2man
Date: Thu, 27 Nov 2008 08:13:35 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.18 (2008-05-17)

Hello Karl, Werner,

* Karl Berry wrote on Thu, Nov 27, 2008 at 01:01:42AM CET:
>     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.

FWIW, Automake 1.11 will allow you to specify AM_MAINTAINER_MODE with
switched defaults (the maintainer mode is on unless --disable'd).

>     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.

I agree.  I also agree that the current behavior is not good.
I'm unsure however what would be better.  Let 'missing' not
create the output file and exit 1?  Let 'missing' create the
output file and exit 0, so that all man pages will contain the
`.ab' error message?

Karl wrote in an earlier message:
>  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).

Well, `missing' could just not generate the dummy info.1 in the first
place.  But then, you will not be able to build the package from CVS
if you don't have help2man installed, which is quite inconvenient.

Maybe another way to go is to exit 0, let all man pages be created,
but at least add a `dist' hook to ensure that the packaged man pages
are not the dummy ones?


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