[PATCH util-macros 1/2] Add XORG_WITH_W3M for HTML to text conversion

Gaetan Nadon memsize at videotron.ca
Tue Mar 22 10:34:19 PDT 2011

On Mon, 2011-03-21 at 17:46 -0700, Dan Nicholson wrote:

> I'm not volunteering to do it, but I always thought it would be nice
> if the doc macros actually tried to generate a test doc instead of
> just checking for tools in the path. It's fairly easy to get xmlto in
> your path but actually have a hosed up docbook toolchain.

There has been attempts to do that. It brings its own problems.
That amounts to "testing" the software to see if it works well enough.

This is done in the compiler world to test for features or behaviors.
This world is well tested, highly backward compatible. Not so for

In order to have a meaningful test (other than a zero byte file), one
would require something like this:
<!DOCTYPE book PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DocBook XML V4.3//EN"


Note the version number. This would eventually break when 4.3 is no
available. By design Docbook is meant not to be backward compatible from
one major version to another. In our case, util-macros would eventually
to build older versions creating hard to diagnose problems.

Currently we test for the path and optionally a version number.
Nothing prevents us from adding additional tests, providing we are
sure it works correctly on all platforms and across time as well.

Right now, we have a docbook feature which only works with a recent
of docbook-xsl as documentation in the README:

        The pdf/ps "inside the document" references only started working with
        docbook-xsl v 1.76.1 which is not yet available to your favorite O/S.
        In xorg-fo.xsl, insert.olink.pdf.frag must be set to zero which allows
        the reference to at least point to the top of the document.

I can't think of any test to verify the feature works or not. It would
be nice if the technology
had some built-in design to do that. I agree with your requirement but
the implementation
is not trivial, even when possible.

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