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Re: separate target for installing docs

From: Ralf Wildenhues
Subject: Re: separate target for installing docs
Date: Sun, 26 Sep 2010 07:10:48 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.20 (2010-08-04)

Hello Markus,

* mhoenicka wrote on Sat, Sep 25, 2010 at 12:02:19AM CEST:
> I'm maintaining a software project which uses a pretty straightforward
> automake/autoconf/libtool setup to build and install the software and the
> documentation. The documentation is maintainer-built and shipped with the
> tarball. Usually, the end-user does not build the documentation, but just
> installs whatever is shipped. I've received a request from a package
> maintainer to move the documentation installation to a separate make target.
> That is:
> make: should build the software and the docs (if needed)
> make install: should install the software, including some DATA files (like a
> .pc file), but not the docs
> make install-doc: should install only the docs (but not other DATA files)
> Is there a simple way to achieve this?

Well, it is fairly easy to write an install-doc target yourself, likely
something like

install-doc: install-info install-man install-pdf install-dvi install-ps

will already do mostly what you wanted (maybe too much?).

However, letting 'make install' not install documentation is not quite
as straightforward.  The GNU Coding Standards require 'install' to
install both programs, data, and some documentation.  You'd need to
override some of the internal, undocumented, automake-generated rules in
the files which deal with documentation, for example the
install-data-am rule.  FWIW; I'd recommend against this because users
are typically fairly used to the "normal" GNU-style install targets and
might be a bit surprised about the changed semantics.  At the least, you
should mention that prominently in your README or so file.

There is also 'install-exec' which only installs platform-dependent
files, and 'install-data' which does the rest, maybe that is already
good enough for you?  See info Automake "The Two Parts of Install".


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