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Re: Generating 'cat' pages on make install

From: Jason Curl
Subject: Re: Generating 'cat' pages on make install
Date: Sun, 04 Nov 2007 14:40:53 +0100
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20070728)

Bob Proulx wrote:
Jason Curl wrote:
Continuing with my efforts of making a library designed for Linux a bit usable for colleagues on Windows I'd like to figure out how to install "cat" pages, i.e. conversions of "man" pages.

Hmm...  Would it make more sense to set up 'man' on ms-windows for
your colleagues such that it would generate the man pages correctly?
I would think that would be easier.
It doesn't make too much sense, else they'd already have Cygwin or something installed. They're windows users, not unix users.
The problem is that the location and formating of the man-cat pages is
different everywhere.  Different 'man' systems do different things
with with them because 'man' is not standardized on every system.  The
man-cat pages are cache for the 'man' program and different 'man'
programs have made different choices.

Additionally the terminal column width is a terminal specific
difference that even on the same system with the same user there might
be two different formattings.  This can be mitigated by
forcing/assuming a standard 80-character wide terminal though.
So let's assume I've got a command on my build environment

groff -Tascii -mandoc myman.3 | col -b > mycat.3

I might even extend this to generate HTML instead of ASCII.

Later I'd be implementing a Perl script to convert what is in code comments to something else to then generate the man pages. These man pages document an API.
I can write a script that will do the conversion for me, but I'd ideally like to have a rule that will convert the 'man' page for me to 'cat' in the correct directory when installing.

Unfortunately there is no one "correct" directory.
Well, the Autoconf has a system /share/man/man3/myman.3. I would then think it makes most sense to have it copied to /share/cat/cat3/myman.3
Personally I would look into teaching them to use man on windows to
view the man pages.  That seems to me like it would be the easier
approach.  And then it would be all set up for other Unix-derived
commands in the future.

Even better for GNU-derived software would be to set up the info pages
so that the info documentation would be available.  For the GNU
project info documentation is the usually is the preferred
documentation format.

Well, may be I'll rephrase the question: Given a list of man pages in my, how can I write or extend automake (hopefully easily) to use that list that is already defined to run a command and copy it somewhere on make install, using the example I've provided?

I'd like to keep it in Automake if possible rather than having preconfigure, postconfigure scripts.


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