build-dependencies using an XML manpage

build-dependencies using an nroff manpage

archfs has been accepted into unstable! I've been working on this package in between other tasks for quite a long time. I based my package on prior packaging work by Adam Sloboda from The upstream package lacks a manpage, and one of the changes I have made from the initial packaging was to replace an XML-authored manpage by Adam with a roff one (based on the processed output of the XML one).

I did this because I find authoring roff documents easier than XML ones. Another consequence is the build dependencies a lot simpler. We can see just how simpler thanks to Frans Pops' debtree.


Hi Neil, thank you for your comment. I tried to stress in my post that the purpose of the change was not to reduce the build dependencies: this was a happy side-effect.

I don't quite understand why XML is easier to translate than roff, but I'll take it as written as I know you have a lot more experience of translation issues than I. As it stands, I think you would essentially need an entirely distinct roff file per language; but I think the same is true if it were authored in XML. Or would a partial-translation (or an out-of-date translation) have bits of english shine through the gaps?

For this package, at least, the amount of manpage 'churn' should be very small.

don't lose translation support merely to reduce build-deps!

Using roff directly all but prohibits translation of the manpage. Using XML will allow easy translation and easy generation of the translated manpages using packages like po4a.

IMHO reducing build dependencies is not worth losing translation support. Runtime dependencies are far, far, far more important than build dependencies. As far as cross-building is concerned, all that is needed is for the rules file to easily support omitting generation of manpages and other docs using the DEB_BUILD_OPTIONS="nodocs" option. That way, the cross-build doesn't waste time installing or running doc generation tools, whatever form they take.

The OpenId is launchpad but don't use that id - you can contact me through the normal Debian address. Neil Williams (codehelp)

Neil Williams