[tex-live] texdoc <-> texdoctk

Frank Küster frank at kuesterei.ch
Thu Jan 31 22:55:40 CET 2008

karl at freefriends.org (Karl Berry) wrote:

>     does anybody maintain texdoc (on unix)?
> Frank, isn't this what you just rewrote in lua?

Yes, and I think the version in the texlive is the most recent. Actually
I wanted to ask for write access to the repository, so that I can use
the texlive svn as upstream for texdoc. It's just that I don't have time
for coding at the moment...

>     At least in tl2007 it seems texdoc has a completely different
>     configuration mechanism
> Yes.
>      (environment variables) 
> texdoc (the shell version written by David Aspinall et al.) uses
> kpsewhich to find files, so far as I can see.  The environment variables
> control what programs get started to view the documentation.

texdoc(lua) also uses libkpathsea, even to find out which programs to
use to view the documenation. I am not sure whether environment
variables are respected somehow (they should), if yes then it's by some
lua/kpathsea magic, because I don't specially cater for them. Unless
I've forgotten some patch that someone else sent me...

>      then texdoctk (which has an rc and a gui for that).
> (And that "rc" file is horribly painful to maintain, too.)
> The programs were written by two different people at different times.
> There is no connection between them so far as I know.

Thomas Ruedas who wrote texdoctk told me some time ago (maybe in 2006?)
that he was going to work again on it, but I don't think he has actually
published anything. From a conceptual point of view, the biggest
drawback to texdoctk that I saw is that it's very hard to add
information for local documentation.

There's a third thing, writen in PHP and called tdphp. It was included
in teTeX 3.0 and provided a http-browsable interface if a local
webserver was running. I think it uses texdoctk's texdoc.dat, but it
allowed to add local entries in $TEXMFLOCAL/texdoctk/texdoctk-local.dat.


The author was very active back then, I'm not sure about now (it's
probably not very encouraging to see your work incorporated in teTeX 3.0
for the first time, but then dropped in its successor, TeXLive...)

Regards, Frank

Frank Küster
Debian Developer (teTeX/TeXLive)

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