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bug#4826: 23.1; woman-manpath, woman-man.conf-path on MS Windows with Cy

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: bug#4826: 23.1; woman-manpath, woman-man.conf-path on MS Windows with Cygwin
Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 11:40:31 +0200

> From: "Drew Adams" <address@hidden>
> Date: Thu, 29 Oct 2009 14:51:36 -0700
> Where should Emacs look? How about looking to the most common UNIX simulation
> for Windows? Look to the commonly used program that actually installs a UNIX
> manual on Windows. Where would you have Emacs look for a model - at your
> personal directory structure, which you mention as a counter-example?

GnuWin32 is the most popular and most up-to-date and actively
maintained collection of GNU utilities to native Windows, and its
archives come with man pages.  I think this qualifies as the
``commonly used program that actually installs a UNIX manual on
Windows''.  But GnuWin32 installs the man pages in the `man'
sub-directory under wherever you unzip the archives.  That doesn't
help to resolve this problem, unfortunately.  (As you might have
guessed, I install them under `D:/usr'.)

You suggest to cater to Cygwin first and foremost, but Cygwin defaults
are better suited to the Cygwin build of Emacs (and I believe there,
the current Unix defaults work out of the box anyway).  Native Windows
build of Emacs does not necessarily need to consider Cygwin as the
best default.

> This is already the approach we take for `woman-man.conf-path'. The default
> value for that user option, on Windows (emacs -Q), is ("C:/cygwin/lib"
> "C:/cygwin/etc"). Why do we use the Cygwin directories here? Because they
> provide a reasonable default behavior on Windows.

No, we use these directories for `woman-man.conf-path' because Cygwin
is about the only Windows collection of tools that brings a port of
`man' program which supports the `man' config files.  Other ports of
`man' don't have and don't support that file.

> And there is already code in woman.el that converts UNIX directories to
> Cygwin-Windows directories - see `woman-Cyg-to-Win' and
> `woman-parse-colon-path'. That code tries to do a good job of figuring out 
> which
> Windows file names to use. Why shouldn't we do something similar for
> `woman-manpath'?

This is again Cygwin-specific, because Cygwin uses Unix-style path
lists where directories are separated by colons rather than by
semi-colons.  Native Windows tools will always use semi-colon
separated lists in MANPATH.

To summarize, I think the solution I suggested is the best:

> > If anything, I would suggest writing some code to look up the
> > directories in the default value on every drive that is on a local
> > hard disk, then perhaps do the same under /Cygwin on each drive.

This should work both for you and for me, and probably for most anyone

Unfortunately, I'm too busy these days to implement it.  Volunteers
are welcome.

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