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Re: Fwd: GSoC Project: Replacement for Apropos


One more item for consideration: full-text search is great (I guess?), but note that recent changes in mandoc have massively simplified the library interface to parsing manuals (mdoc/man/roff). Parsing a manual with mdoc/man, roff, tbl, and so on, is now just a single function call producing the file's AST.

This means that it's now super-easy to write utilities interfacing with libmandoc.a that mine manual documents for "mdoc" semantic data: function names, utility names, variables, and so on. I have an example of doing this by way of a simple Berkeley db (I wonder if the in-base bdb can handle FTS...) that spits out a map of files to function names, utilities names, and general manual names in no time at all.

Anyway, this shiny new mandoc.3 interface will be released upstream over the next few days, but I thought I'd give a heads-up on more possibilities along this line of thought. I like the notion of FTS, but I'm generally hurting most for domain-specific searching (e.g., "which manual files reference time.h", "which manual lists __progname", etc.), which this would allow.



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