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Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2000 18:02:56 -0400
From: Wichert Akkerman <wichert@mors.wiggy.net>
To: debian-devel@lists.debian.org
Subject: Announcing doc-central

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A while ago I got upset with the current systems to browse installed
documentation, dwww and dhelp. Most importantly I either didn't like the
interface, the fact registration files had to be made beyond the
doc-base entries and that static html pages had to be generated.

I also wanted to learn python, so I figured I might as well use that
to write a new documentation browsing system. This became doc-central,
a small (470 lines of documented python, not all of which is used at the

=46rom the README:

    Doc-Central is a collection of scripts that give you a convenient
    way to browse the documentation installed on your Debian system.=20

    Doc-Central uses a local http server (like apache) to present a list
    of all registered documents. Depending on the type of document other
    tools are used to view the document: for info files we use info2www.
    All other types are currently linked to directly. To get the list of
    installed documentation the doc-base registration entries as used.
    For more information on doc-base please install the doc-base package
    and read the documentation in /usr/doc/doc-base.

I'm quite happy with how it is working, however I would like some help
to improve it further though:

* the current generated html-pages are ugly. I'm not a html-expert
  so any help in this area is appreciated. Please don't tell me
  "use a table" or so, but give me complete html-files which show
  what you would like to see. Or patches to the source of course!
* it uses doc-base registrations for documentation. This means that
  unless maintainers register the documents for their pacakges
  doc-central won't know about them. So please check your packages to
  see if you register all the documentation.
* It seems people don't agree on what documentation sections to use;
  we'll probably need to set some (policy) guidelines.
* I can add customizations (the basic framework to handle cgi parameters
  and cookies is already in place). However since I'm already reasonably
  happy with the way it works any suggestions are welcomed.


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