[texdoc] TeXdoc : could it do more ?

Manuel Pégourié-Gonnard mpg at elzevir.fr
Fri Mar 13 20:35:26 CET 2009

Philip TAYLOR (Ret'd) a écrit :
> The reason for the question (to which the answer
> is trivially "yes")

Agreed :-)

> is a conversation with David
> Carlisle today, during which David told me that
> "fix2col.sty" was obsolete and that I should be
> using "fixltx2e" instead.

And actually the catalogue says so:


>  Now I have not known
> of TeXdoc for very long (in fact, not until
> I started using TeX Live 2008), but it is clearly
> a very useful tool and one on which I have come
> to rely.  So I would very much like to have been
> told, on entering "TeXdoc fix2ltx", that "fix2ltx"
> is obsolete, and that I should consider migrating
> to "fixltx2e" instead.  Would there be any interest
> in making TeXdoc more table-driven, such that
> concepts such as "deprecated", "obsolescent",
> "obsolete, replaced by" and so on could be added
> to the database ?
Well, there is a lot of useful information in the catalogue and is would indeed
be good for texdoc to use it. Currently the obsolescence information in the
catalogue exists only in human-readable form, not machine-readable, AFAIK. So it
is not possible in the immediate future for texdoc to use it.

More generally, I'd like a notion of metadata (language, obsolescence, type of
document (man page, user guide, reference, source)) that texdoc could use and/or
present to the user. The better way to achieve it is probably to standardise the
information that is already in the catalogue, and then make texdoc able to read
it (in one form or another, since we do not include the catalogue in TL any
more). Unfortunately, I have currently no time to discus it with the catalogue
maintainers or otherwise work on it, but it is planned for later.

Btw, thanks for your suggestion, obsolescence information was not on my list
yet, and indeed it would be very useful.


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