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MSVC/Win32: building the documentation

From: michael . goffioul
Subject: MSVC/Win32: building the documentation
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2006 17:17:06 +0200

I finally succeeded in building the documentation. I could
identify all problems and finally find a configuration that
works. For your information, here are the problems I faced:
- MSYS comes with an out-dated makeinfo, which cannot handle
@float, so you have to use another one, for instance from
the GnuWin32 project (you have to play with the PATH as makeinfo
is part of the core MSYS)
- texi2dvi and texi2pdf are available either from MSYS or
from GnuWin32; in both cases, the texi2dvi script has special
code to handle ; or : as path separator for the TEXINPUTS
variable. The choice is made on the existence of COMSPEC
variable, so you have to undefine it (such that it uses : as
pathsep). I do it with "COMSPEC= make" at MSYS prompt
- TeX is needed, I have MiKTeX installed; this also provides
makeinfo and texi2dvi, but not texi2pdf (Grrr). That's not
a big deal as texi2pdf is simply "texi2dvi --pdf". What about
adding this to the configure script: if texi2pdf is not found,
try with "texi2dvi --pdf"?
- for reasons beyond my understanding, "texi2dvi --pdf" (from
MiKTeX) does not handle TEXINPUTS variable correctly, while
"texi2dvi" does. The result is that "conf.texi" is not found
when building octave.pdf. The easiest is just to type the
actual path of the file when requested by TeX (../conf.texi)
- run-octave failed to recreate the figures because it couldn't
start the gnuplot process, while pgnuplot was actually in my
PATH. I identified the cause as the way how gnuplot is invoked
when use_title_options is true. For some (still unidentified)
reasons, this does not work. But I could workaround it easily
by undefining DISPLAY, as in "DISPLAY= make". However, and that's
the funny part, you cannot set COMSPEC to an empty value to
build the images, as in the second point, otherwise octave is
unable to start pgnuplot as sub-process. So either you run a
suite of "COMSPEC= make" and "DISPLAY= make" up to the next error.
Or you can use the texi2dvi from the MiKTeX package, which does
not require COMSPEC set to empty. As a 3rd solution, you can
simply forget about the COMSPEC setting and just type "../conf.texi"
when texi2dvi/pdf fails to find it.
Once you have worked around all problems, you can build the
doc "pretty" easily... :-)

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