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Re: [help-texinfo] No index in PDF manual

From: Gavin Smith
Subject: Re: [help-texinfo] No index in PDF manual
Date: Sun, 31 Mar 2019 12:30:43 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.23 (2014-03-12)

On Sun, Mar 31, 2019 at 12:56:33AM +0000, Mohammad Akhlaghi wrote:
> I tried removing the `texinfo.tex' in `build-aux', but then the PDF wasn't
> built at all (complaining about not finding `texinfo.tex'). In Gnuastro, the
> `build-aux/texinfo.tex' is the only one.

Okay, so apparently there is no texinfo.tex installed anywhere else on 
your system and you are relying on the one in build-aux.  I will assume 
that this is a fairly common use case.

How is texinfo.tex being copied into build-aux?  I found that 'automake 
--add-missing' would add it, but when I tested with 'gnulib-tool 
--add-import' and 'gnulib-tool --update', it wasn't.

One possible solution to the problem is to copy a working version of 
texinfo.tex, e.g. the one from Texinfo 6.6, into the source directory 
where the documentation files (gnuastro.texi and others) are.  I would 
expect that would take priority over whatever was in build-aux/.  This 
approach does have its own drawbacks, in that future changes to programs
such as texi2dvi and texindex may become incompatible with older 
versions of texinfo.tex (although they shouldn't), and then in the 
future older releases of gnuastro wouldn't have their documentation 
built properly.

I have sent an email to ask about the version of texinfo.tex in gnulib, 
so let's see what comes back from there first - a change there could be 
the better solution.

> Is it possible to add a check in the new `texinfo.tex' file to see if
> `texi2dvi' accepts the new escape character or not, and use the old
> character if it doesn't?

No, this is not possible.

> Another solution that comes to my mind, maybe to release the next Texinfo
> soon, so we can build, install and use it.

Yes, that would certainly move things towards this not being a problem 
any more, even if there is some initial disruption.

> Since many GNU programs use Gnulib, this problem might pop up more often
> soon, once their next versions are being released. It is hard to notice (the
> indices are in the end of the PDF and not immediately visible for someone
> not familiar with this problem).

Yes, I agree that this is a problem.

The only versions of texinfo.tex that should be used generally are 
either those on, or those inside official releases.  The 
versions in the git repository are mainly for internal development of 
Texinfo only.  If this is followed, then there is less chance of 
problems like this occurring.

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