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Re: [ELPA] New package: perl-doc

From: Harald Jörg
Subject: Re: [ELPA] New package: perl-doc
Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 08:57:39 +0000

Eli Zaretskii <eliz@gnu.org> writes:

>> From: Visuwesh <visuweshm@gmail.com>
>> Cc: Emacs Developer List <emacs-devel@gnu.org>
>> Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 09:47:53 +0530
>> [புதன் ஜூலை 27, 2022] Harald Jörg wrote:
>> > the motivation to write this library came from two sources: In a Perl
>> > online meeting an Emacs user noted that the usual function to read Perl
>> > documentation in Emacs, cperl-perldoc, does not work on Platforms which
>> > don't have 'man' (notably, Windows).
>> What about woman?  It should be reasonably fast for most manpages.
> It cannot format many modern man pages because it wasn't extended to
> support the roff directives added in recent years.  Patches to add
> that are welcome.

The troubles start before that: The POD to man converter (pod2man) is
lossy.  It is suited for character terminals or printing, but not so
much for interactive viewing in Emacs.  What I miss most is clickable
links between POD documents.

> P.S. A simple clone of 'man' for Windows is available from ezwinports
> site.

Sure, but the chase doesn't end here!  When I tried yesterday on a
Windows 11 system and Emacs 27.2, <M-x> cperl-perldoc <RET> perlrun
<RET> complained that it can't find sed.

But the actual problem is "read POD documents" rather than "run man".
In my opinion the quality of POD->HTML is better than POD->man.  Here's
a screenshot with a comparison (Linux, Emacs built from git):

So, as a second step, I consider adding it to cperl-mode.el itself
(protected by an (if (fboundp perl-doc ...)) clause) which can improve
the user's experience if they decide to install the package, or simply
make it work on Windows.

Side note: There's also pod-mode.el at
https://github.com/renormalist/emacs-pod-mode.  This mode is geared
towards _authoring_ POD rather than browsing it.


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