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Re: Getting rid of the mandb profile hook?

From: Ludovic Courtès
Subject: Re: Getting rid of the mandb profile hook?
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2021 11:20:32 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/27.1 (gnu/linux)

Hi Brice,

Brice Waegeneire <> skribis:

> On 2021-03-03 15:13, Ludovic Courtès wrote:


>> I looked a bit at man-db, thinking it must have that already done
>> more
>> or less.  Indeed, one can run “mandb -uc” to create the database.
>> The problem is that it insists on writing databases and
>> files in the same directory as man pages.  In our case, these are all
>> read-only, so just prints a warning for each directory and keeps going.
>> It looks like man-db is not written with a situation like ours in
>> mind.
> What about using mandoc¹, the manpage compiler from OpenBSD, instead of
> man-db? As from it's manual it support specifying the database location:
> “makewhatis -d dir [file ...]”²
> It isn't packaged in Guix yet, but other Linux distros have done it,
> some
>  are even using it as their default.

Sounds like a plan!  We’d need to update the “Documentation” node in the
manual accordingly.

Do you want to give it a try?

>> [...]
>> One option I contemplated at one point is to simply have fewer man 
>> pages
>> in the first place.  :-)  There were packages that install man pages
>> when they shouldn’t.  This led to commits like
>> 305eefc0627eb1d047e6fc4320d7e56897719ab8 and
>> 4b797193d7508ddc53bb1ff7a267a0d50c1fe298 (and parent commits).
> More outputs would be great tho having a way to force the installation
> of
> specifics outputs for every installed package would improve quality of
> live.  For a specific example in that case, when installing ncurses from
>  the cli it would install it's man output too if you always want man
>  page
>  to be installed.

Hmm sounds tricky (and kinda unpredictable, too).


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