On Thu, 25 Jul 2019 23:56:33 -0400
desultory <desult...@gentoo.org> wrote:

> Since when is anyone proposing extirpating man pages on the whole? I am
> simply making the rather simple suggestion that pulling in more packages
> to support presently optional documentation as newly mandated
> documentation when such documentation is neither expected nor desired by
> the users of systems onto which it would be installed is not a net
> benefit to anyone.

Mostly because all things that provide texinfo files have to depend on
texinfo, and use texinfo tools to compile their info files.

And because presently, the required ubiquitous dependency is causing
problems, due to the dependency graph going pear shaped. ( though we
maaay have solved that, its hard to tell, we worked around it with
bundled deps ... )

This leads to a situation where anything that uses texinfo, *may* want
to provide a way to remove that dependency conditionally to avoid
suffering, and it is reasonable to imagine somebody doing this.

And this is already being done with a USE flag in many packages[1]

But, policy as proposed makes the only way to do this to pre-build
texinfo files yourself and hand-ship them.

Which is amusing, because the info situation is unlike man in one
specific way: That the majority of users probably don't want them.

Yet, all the packages without a USE gating is making these users suffer
problems in portage upgrades.

Making developers hand-bundle prebuilt info files instead of depending
on texinfo with a use flag?

I think you'll just see more people actually opt to solve the
dependency problem by nuking the texinfo generation of build cycle
entirely, and hoping nobody notices.

And unlike USE-gated dependencies that can yelled at by QA using simple
static analysis tools, QA yelling at people for nuking man pages might
be a little harder to implement tools for. ( But FTR, I don't
personally care if texinfo gets shot in the process, it is nothing but
pain for me )

>  Even default on USE flags would be a better "fix" for
> the purported problem then making maintainers generate, package, and
> publish man pages themselves.

On that I *kinda* agree, I think? But the reason they're not defaulting
on, is because the complexity it creates can cause breakage, and for
every 1 user that wants to read a man page, there are 10 who just need
the program (or library) to just F-ing install already[2] so they can
go back to focusing on the thing that they actually care about.

So "generate man pages and make installs break for lots of people" is a
bad default.

1: https://qa-reports.gentoo.org/output/genrdeps/dindex/sys-apps/texinfo
2: Lest there be confusion, this is not my rhetoric, this is just me
channelling the average user who has to ask for help in #gentoo yet
again to solve a problem that has had to be solved many dozens of times
over, who is not a deity of package management quirks and struggles to
make sense of portage errors or comprehend random build failures due to
bad build-ordering. Sometimes gentoo is barely usable for even lesser
deities, and we aught to be doing more to put the power in the users
hands to make this crap just stop. 

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