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Re: [Groff] Re: a couple of fixes to

From: Nelson H. F. Beebe
Subject: Re: [Groff] Re: a couple of fixes to
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 1999 07:39:01 -0700 (MST)

Werner LEMBERG <address@hidden> writes on Tue, 14 Dec 1999 18:59:06 GMT:

>> ...
>> What do you think about the following algorithm:
>>   0) The groff package will always use the `g' prefix.
>>   1) Check whether a binary called `troff' is installed.  If yes, set
>>      HAVE_TROFF.  Now check whether it is GNU troff.  If yes, set
>>   2) Check whether a binary called `gtroff' is installed.  If yes
>>      check whether the installation directories are the same.  If not,
>>      emit a warning that another groff package is on the system which
>>      can cause conflicts.  [Shall `make install' abort in this
>>      situation?]
>>   3) Install groff.  Make a link gtroff->troff only if HAVE_TROFF
>>      isn't set.  If HAVE_GTROFF_AS_TROFF is set, remove the old link
>>      and use the old link's directory for the new link.  Do the same
>>      for geqn, gtbl, etc.
>> Are there any GNU guidelines covering such tricky situations?
>> ...

I agree with (0), and (1).  Although the GNU versions could have been
called troff, nroff, eqn, pic, and tbl right from the start,
historically, they weren't, so we've gotten used to their g-prefixes.

For (2), "make install" shall definitely not abort.  There are plenty
of instances of other GNU utilities, including gcc, emacs, all of the
binutils and fileutils, and more, which exist as vendor-provided
programs in /usr/bin, and user-installed programs in /usr/local/bin.
It is the user's choice in the setting of the PATH variable whether
the (usually `new and improved!') versions in /usr/local/bin get used
in place of the vendor versions.  At my large site (11,800 accounts,
200+ UNIX systems, with a dozen UNIX architectures), we provide a
default setting of PATH that puts /usr/local/bin first, and I've never
received a complaint about that choice.  Users can always reset PATH
if they wish.

(3) should cause no problems.

However, what about a link to ditroff as well?  None of the UNIX
vendors at my site distribute ditroff, and SGI doesn't even include
nroff/troff except as an extra-cost option.  So, at my site, no one
uses a program called ditroff.  However, I think it was/is standard in
AT&T System V.  The 4.4 BSD-Lite tree that I have online here has a
script /usr/src/contrib/dipress/doc/ditroff that runs
/usr/local/troff_p.  Thus, OpenBSD/FreeBSD/BSD-4.x systems might have
it.  GNU/Linux (at least Redhat 6.1) does not.

- Nelson H. F. Beebe                    Tel: +1 801 581 5254                  -
- Center for Scientific Computing       FAX: +1 801 585 1640, +1 801 581 4148 -
- University of Utah                    Internet e-mail: address@hidden  -
- Department of Mathematics, 322 INSCC                   address@hidden        -
- 155 S 1400 E RM 233                                    address@hidden       -
- Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0090, USA    URL:  -

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