Subject: Re: volunteers to fix catman?
To: None <>
From: Kevin P. Neal <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 09/15/1998 00:51:34
At 07:10 PM 9/14/98 -0400, Perry E. Metzger wrote:
>"Kevin P. Neal" writes:
>> The current problem (thanks for bringing this up) is that the man.conf
>> doesn't have any way of specifying _where_ cat'd files should go. 
>> There isn't really a way to pair up an unformatted directory with a
>> formatted directory. What's a good way of doing this?
>you could just assume that the unformatted directories and formatted
>directories will be in parallel.

And what about troff'd pages? Where do those go (if handled specially)? 
It doesn't seem very pretty to hard code in paths for 'cat' files (and 'fmt'
files on some systems?), especially with the configurability our man.conf
gives us. 

>> We could add a directive for specifying paths like "../cat1", but we would
>> need a way to tie this to specific sets of directories. Perhaps:
>> _fmtdir /usr/{share,X11R6,blahblah}/man/man1 ../cat1

Let me amend this:
_catdir /usr/{share,X11R6,blahblah}/man/man1 ../cat1
_fmtdir /usr/{share,X11R6,blahblah}/man/man1 ../fmt1

Although I'm not convinced that having directives for both cat dirs and fmt
dirs is the right thing. If troff'd pages are wanted then a different
man.conf could be used. 

>> Plus, a list of directories acquired from _fmtdir directives could be the
>> list of directories catman searches (along with those from _default). 
>> Opinions? Suggestions?
>Just one thing to keep in mind: traditional catman(8) had the ability
>to generate troff'ed pre-formatted man pages. You should make sure
>that we don't make that capability difficult to add. (Indeed, if you
>have a chance, you should actually add it.)

Currently the man.conf has nroff in it for building formatted man pages.
Plus, man has the -C option for specifying a different man.conf. 

Why not have catman accept -C also? [*] A quick sed script could (unless I'm
mistaking how troff is used) cook up a copy of man.conf to hand off to
catman for troff'ing. That would eliminate the need for both _catdir and
_fmtdir -- just _catdir would be needed. 

Heck, catman could actually read man.conf from stdin if needed. 

[*] Actually, I think I've already gotten command line handling written that
is almost the same between man and catman. Also the environmental variable
handling is the nearly the same between my man and catman. 
Kevin P. Neal                

'You know, I think I can hear the machine screaming from here... \
"help me! hellpp meeeee!"' - Heather Flanagan, 14:52:23 Wed Jun 10 1998