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Re: 03texi2txt.diff

From: Derek Robert Price
Subject: Re: 03texi2txt.diff
Date: Mon, 11 Aug 2003 13:48:21 -0400
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Alexandre Duret-Lutz wrote:

"Derek" == Derek Robert Price <address@hidden> writes:

Derek> CVS has had rules in its doc/ for awhile to generate .txt 
files from
Derek> texinfos.  Basically it just requires the passage of --no-headers to 

Derek> I've included a patch that uses the dvi, info, pdf, and
Derek> ps targets as a model to define txt targets that build
Derek> .txt files from all texinfos.

Thanks, but new features should also come with documentation,
tests, and NEWS entry, otherwise we will forget about them and
they are guaranteed to break in the future.  I guess this is
just a matter of adding "make txt" near any mention of "make
html" (even in test cases).  html will be a new target in 1.8

I'm all for documentations & tests and I'll be happy to write all of that. I wanted to make sure this was a desirable feature before I did the documentation work.

But see the heavy note in NEWS about the various ways the new
"html" target can break existing packages.  This would apply to
"txt" too.  Each time a new recursive target is added, it's a
problem with embedded third party packages that are not aware of
this new target.  For instance gettext's intl/

 info dvi ps pdf html:

because Bruno was aware of the upcoming html target; but this
Makefile would fail `make txt'.

This is true, and similar notes can be added to NEWS, I suppose. I do have enough experience with this sort of problem (CVS uses several homegrown Makefile.ins in addition to its automake generated makefiles and I've run into this several times with various recursive targets since converting CVS to use Automake) that the problem is easy to spot and the fix easy to make. The recursive target breaks and the local one does not (i.e. cd'ing to the doc directory and running `make txt' will likely still work). Also, simply adding the phony `txt' target to the homegrown Makefile.ins quickly fixes the problem after the first bug report.

I'm curious to know when is `make txt' used.  Is it
important/useful enough to excuse such hassle?

I'm not actually sure. I'm simply supporting a target that's been around since March of 96. I didn't join CVS until sometime in 98. I generally figure that txt might be useful for novice users (especially those novice with UNIX or GNU), perhaps for users on systems without much other GNU software installed (I remember having a hard time with info when I first started with CVS on Solaris), they might be good for sending through email, and supporting it isn't much effort, so I do it.



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