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Re: Fwd: GSoC Project: Replacement for Apropos

On Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 08:35:29PM +0530, Abhinav Upadhyay wrote:
> On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 4:59 PM, Joerg Sonnenberger
> <> wrote:
> > I don't think retrofitting this into the existing apropos (well, man -k)
> > is very helpful. But keep in mind that it has to be integrated into
> > man(1) at some point, so keep it modular.
> >
> > Joerg
> >
> Hi,
> I would like to know more about the integration with man(1). I had the
> impression that the a full text index will be maintained in a sqlite
> database and the new apropos would search that index. And when new man
> pages are installed, some way of triggering the update of the index.

That's correct.

> It would be great if you could elaborate on the role of integration
> with man(1).

apropos(1) is called by 'man -k'. There are a few uses of a database
beside FTS, e.g. it could also be directly used to keep track of man
page aliases. Consider src/lib/libm/Makefile and look for MLINKS.
It would save space and manual maintainance if those lists can be
derived from the .Nm macros in the NAME section automatically.

Basically, I think the separation of apropos(1) and whatis(1) has only
historical reasons and should be reviewed in light of better processing
tools. Integrating all three tools certainly sounds like a much better

> Also, I will be having my semester exams at the end of May so I will
> not be available for around 10 days, will that be a problem ?

Officially, work phase for the GSoC starts on May 24. Starting before
that isn't really an issue. E.g. if "not available" means "completely
vanishing from the world", that's going to ring some warning bells.
Having a light week, especially if the prepation phase went well, isn't
an issue though. We all know about the importance of exams. Mentors also
have sometimes events that demand attention, but we have the advantage
of being able to distribute the load :)


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