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RE: auto-update of Info dir file?

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: auto-update of Info dir file?
Date: Tue, 16 May 2006 10:54:09 -0700

    I think we could solve the problem much easier: if the user wants a
    manual called "mumble",

What do you mean here by "the user wants"? Are you speaking of the user who
executes Emacs command `info' or the user (perhaps a sysadmin or programmer,
not necessarily the end-user of Emacs) who adds the Info files to the

The end user might not know that s?he wants a particular manual. If the
manual doesn't appear in the Info list (catch-22), then the user might not
even be aware that the manual exists. The idea was to have invocation of
Emacs command `info' populate Info with all available manuals, without the
end user needing to know anything about what they are.

Also, how will Emacs tell what "the user wants" in this context? Even if the
end user does know that s?he wants a particular manual (and that it should
be available), how is that communicated to Emacs in your scenario?

    and there's no such entry in DIR, look for a
    _file_ called `mumble' with several possible extensions.  This is what
    the stand-alone Info does, so adding this to Emacs will increase
    compatibility between the two readers.  Doing this bears no run-time
    penalty, and almost the same benefits for the user.

I think this should be push rather than pull. That is, populating Info
should not be demand-driven by the user; it should be done automatically,
based on all available Info files. It can be demand-driven in terms of
_when_ it happens (dynamically, when the user invokes Emacs command `info'
for the first time in a session), but not in terms of _which_ manuals end up
populating the `dir' file.

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