[texdoc] diagnostics

Karl Berry karl at freefriends.org
Mon Feb 22 02:40:51 CET 2010

Hi Manuel,

Sorry for this long message, but it's all kind of related.

Regarding the problem of no displays, it seems rather pervasive.
gnome-open doesn't give any self-identification either.  evince gives a
clue, at least.

At any rate, with the version currently in TL, here are some comments:

I run:
tug$ \texdoc zefonts
tug$ cannot open display: 
Run 'evince --help' to see a full list of available command line options.

The file being found is from its tree,

Question 1) why is it choosing evince instead of xdvi?  I'm not
running any window system at all, it's a remote ssh.

Anyway, continuing on, I figure I'll see what command is getting run, or
maybe some other clues, so I try:
tug$ \texdoc -v1 zefonts

Same non-output.  2) So what does -v1 do? 

3) Also, is there any possibility of making the argument to -v be optional?
It is nearly unprecedented to be *forced* to give a verbosity level,
instead of having -v be a default.

4) Also, the standard long option name is --verbose, not --verbosity.

Ok, so I try -v2, -v3, -v4.  (I don't think open-ended verbosity levels
are a good idea, either, by the way, because it leaves users in the dark
about how far to go.)  Still no output.  As far as I can see -v is
currently a no-op.

Ok, so I try -d.  Now I get much too *much* output.  Tens of thousands
of lines (before I stopped it) about processing every potential
directory and every potential file.  This is not helpful to anyone who
just wants to get some clues about why the doc was not displaying.  At
least have a warning in the help message about "extremely voluminous

What I would have liked to have seen is for -v1 to tell me the final
command getting run and perhaps a little about the overall flow of what
the program is doing.  With -vv, sorry, -v2, whatever was left out from
-v1.  With -d, fine, everything that has ever been helpful to you.
That's somewhat similar to what we do with tlmgr, etc.


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