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Re: Cygwin needs a man-db port

op 17-04-14 20:32, Chris J. Breisch schreef:
Erwin Waterlander wrote:

The major linux distributions have switched for their man system to
'man-db' ( in favour of the classic man.

I think that Cygwin should also switch to man-db. man-db is much better
in handling man pages in different encoding.

Before man-db, libpipeline ( needs to be
ported, because man-db uses it.

I have tried to port man-db to Cygwin, but I did not succeed. I got
stuck in libpipeline. Did anyone else succeed?

Yes. And I agree this is a good idea.

Dependencies: gdbm, libpipeline

Build dependencies: pkgconfig, check, and the typical build stuff (make, gcc, etc.)

As I indicated earlier, I believe the current version of check is not working properly.

Check-0.9.12 seems to work out-of-the-box. Configure with --prefix=/usr.

"make check" on check reports all tests passed, despite what appear to be some failures. The CHANGELOG says that this version should pass all tests on Cygwin. I've just subscribed to the mailing list and will check on whether these failures can be ignored or not. Still, it definitely appears to work better than the version we have now, which only passes 1 test in the test suite.

Libpipeline-1.3.0 seems to work out-of-the-box. Configure with --prefix=/usr.

Oddly a "make check" for libpipeline-1.3.0 doesn't appear to actually do anything. This was not the case for earlier versions of libpipeline. Well, that's one way of getting rid of the test failures, I guess.

Man-db-2.6.7 appears to work out-of-the-box.

Configuring man-db is a little harder than the other two.

../man-db-2.6.7/configure --prefix=/usr --disable-setuid --docdir=/usr/share/doc/man-db

If you don't add the --disable-setuid, you'll need to add a "man" user to your system. If you're not using Corinna's snapshots, you'll need to add the user to /etc/passwd as well.

I'm not sure about the --docdir switch. That seemed to be consistent with Cygwin, but an actual package maintainer would be a better source of info on this.

A couple of warnings are generated:

*** Warning: This system can not link to static lib archive /usr/lib/
*** I have the capability to make that library automatically link in when
*** you link to this library.  But I can only do this if you have a
*** shared version of the library, which you do not appear to have.

and a similar one for

I do have shared versions of these libraries, so I'm not sure why the warnings appear. I seem to recall a thread about something similar recently in the Cygwin mailing lists. I may go back and check.

Once installed, you'll want to do a 'mandb -c' to create the database. It will report numerous warnings which can generally be ignored. See the manpage on mandb. This takes a while.

When new packages are added or updated on your system, you should run 'mandb -c' again. This seems like something that should be part of postinstall.

My 32-bit Cygwin install has a lot of gzipped files and the uncompressed versions under /usr/share/man. mandb didn't like that at all. That is probably something I did and not a Cygwin problem.

Note that I've done only the most minimal of testing. make check passes for man-db and I've opened a few man pages. They seem to work.

Obviously, someone with decision making power should decide if this is something we want to add to Cygwin. My vote is yes, but that's just one vote. Or maybe even zero. I'm not sure I get a vote. :)

Also obviously, if the decision is to go forward, these three items need to be packaged up appropriately and a package maintainer assigned. Check is already a Cygwin package, but needs updating.

Somehow I have a feeling about who will be nominated for this task.

What minimal testing I have done has been on both 32-bit and 64-bit Cygwin 1.7.29.

Hi Chris,

Thanks for all the good work! I will see if I can reproduce your work and do some testing. First I make a new dos2unix release for Cygwin which comes now with several new translations of the man page, all in UTF-8. This will break with the standard man configuration of Cygwin. I will use it also for testing man-db.

My vote is also yes. Now we have already two votes :)

best regards,

Erwin Waterlander

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