[ANNOUNCE] xorg-sgml-doctools-1.2

Drew Parsons dparsons at debian.org
Sun Mar 4 20:14:06 PST 2007

On Sun, 2007-03-04 at 22:01 -0500, Gene Heskett wrote:
> On Sunday 04 March 2007, Ben Byer wrote:
> >
> >DocBook is a compiler for documentation, much like GCC is a compiler
> >for C code.  (Note that both of them have complicated command-line
> >syntax!)
> >
> >1. You (as a user) never see DocBook data; you get man pages (and
> >sometimes online help in HTML).  Much like how users generally aren't
> >expected to "run" C source files.
> >

> Perhaps I'm still miss-understanding how it works.  The program tree I was 
> referring to above was the amanda-2.5.1p3-20070222 snapshot.  I did not 
> do anything unusual other than my usual ./gh.cf script that I use to 
> drive the configure program with consistent options data, this scripts 
> last line is make.  The tree has a docs dir that is all .txt files.  It 
> has, in this same root of its srcs dir, a man directory, which now 
> contains all the manpages, dated when I built it on feb 22nd.  Within 
> this man dir is an xml-sources dir, and all the files there are much 
> older, so they came from the tarball.  Ergo the manpages I see there were 
> built by the main Makefile which in turn sourced the Makefiles in those 2 
> dirs and built the manpages.  They did it fairly quietly, so all I 
> actually noticed was the manpages being installed.  My mistake.
> Now I understand that much better than before, but it obviously becomes 
> the packagers responsibility if I were to type 'man fetchmailrc' and get 
> told it doesn't exist.  It does of course, but that's an example only.

It sounds like you might be confusing the tarball containing the
original source with the final package which users install (the .rpm
file for your Fedora system).

As you noticed, opening a tarball and running its make scripts leaves
the compiled program and man pages in the directory where you opened the
tarball.  But they are not yet installed on your system.

The man program generally checks for manpages in /usr/share/man, so it
won't know about these new manpages which you just compiled from the
tarball.  You can tell man to read any arbitrary file by using the -l
command line option ("local file") in front of the filename.

You can generally install the programs and docs you built from the
tarball by running "make install".  This might place the new man pages
into /usr/share/man, or maybe into /usr/local/man.  Running "make
install" like this can be dangerous if it writes over existing files,
since it's outside your system's normal package management and so it
will lose track of what's been installed by which package.  If you can
do so, you'd be better off turning your compiled files into an rpm
package and install that instead.  But either way once it's done man
should be able to find your manpages without the -l option.

Good luck,


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