Subject: MKHTML default (was Re: CVS commit: src)
To: James Chacon <>
From: Jeff Rizzo <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 02/07/2005 12:41:12
James Chacon wrote:

>On Mon, Feb 07, 2005 at 02:07:46PM -0500, Perry E. Metzger wrote:
>>[I've redirected the conversation to tech-userlevel]
>>matthew green <> writes:
>>>   > considering that it's extra build time for everyone, yeah, i would
>>>   > object..
>>>   You can always do MKHTML=no and not suffer the build time penalty...
>>>but why should everyone have to do this when they aren't going to
>>>be used?  i'm all for MKHTML=yes working fine.  but there is no
>>>good reason that a base netbsd install or build should do them.
>>I see two reasons for wanting it default on.
>>1) Things that are default off rot. MKHTML was default off, and lo, it
>>   rotted.
>>2) Many people actually would make use of the thing -- although we
>>   supply no web browser in the base install, it is a rare machine
>>   that doesn't actually come with one.
>>I see two big reasons for wanting it default off:
>>1) Many older machines don't have the disk space.
>>2) As you note, the build time penalty might be too much for many
>>   people.
>3. We shouldn't be shipping something the default system cannot use.

As I said on src-changes (since I didn't realize the thread had been 
redirected when I replied), I think there is value in having "officially 
blessed" HTML man pages available as a downloadable tarball from the 
standard distribution, even though I don't generally use them myself.  
I'm also a frequent builder, For myself, and assuming the flist setups 
are properly fixed to handle both the yes and no cases, I'd be willing 
to set MKHTML to no myself for those times when shaving every extra 
minute off a build is important... (like I already do with some of the 
other switches).

My vote (assuming I had one, which I don't, but... :-)  would be to 
provide separate man, catman, and html tarballs by default.  I'm 
perfectly capable of switching them off when it matters.  The "default 
system" may not be able to use them, but they're quite useful to drop 
into, say, a website of HTML man pages for various systems, used as 
reference.  I think they're useful enough to the project as a whole that 
we ought to have them, and if we agree on that, then the easiest way to 
prevent bitrot is to enable their generation by default.