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Re: Our Discussion on Fedora-docs [Fwd: Re: Fedora Documentation Search Engine]

Hi ~

I'm not questioning the benefit of the inclusion of swish into extras,
but I'm wondering what the end-user benefits are going to be of adding
an indexer for the documentation.

>From reading the small thread on fedora-docs I understand that you would
like people will be able to search all the man-pages/howto/README docs
of the installed rpms.  What I'm looking for is some more basic details
of why this needs to be done and why it needs to be done this way.

What type of person do you think is looking for this information (a
developer, an office worker, a broker?).

What is this person trying to accomplish by searching this information?
Why do they need it?

Assuming they need it.  How are they going to search for this
information?  Yelp?  Web Browser?  Something else?  Are the mechanisms
for searching and reviewing this type of information already built into
those things?

If we had more of an overview of how this project is going to help
people we could possibly look at a way of integrating it's functionality
better into our system.  Hopefully we then won't be just adding another
piece to the stack of tools we have, but an answer to a problem people
are having.

~ Bryan

On Fri, 2005-01-28 at 15:27 +0000, Gavin Henry wrote:
> I thought that maybe you guys would have some input on this?
> ---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
> Subject: Re: Fedora Documentation Search Engine
> From:    "Stuart Ellis" <s ellis fastmail co uk>
> Date:    Fri, January 28, 2005 3:24 pm
> To:      "For participants of the docs project"
> <fedora-docs-list redhat com>
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Fri, 28 Jan 2005 14:39:32 -0000 (GMT), "Gavin Henry"
> <ghenry suretecsystems com> said:
> > <quote who="Stuart Ellis">
> > >
> > > On Fri, 28 Jan 2005 12:56:58 -0000 (GMT), "Gavin Henry"
> > > <ghenry suretecsystems com> said:
> > >> Dear all,
> > >>
> > >> Has there been any discussion about this?
> > >>
> > >> I thinking along the lines of htdig/swish-e that indexes all man
> pages/howto/README after every rpm is installed.
> > >>
> > >> Something like a post entry in the spec file, or similar.
> > >
> > > I haven't seen any on this list, but essentially this is a function of
> having a desktop search/indexing engine since there isn't a common
> format to this stuff.  The next release of yelp (GNOME help browser)
> will display info and man pages, but can't index the random txt, html,
> pdf etc. that goes into /usr/share/doc/.
> >
> > We heavily use Swish-e (www.swish-e.org) for the fileservers we install.
> This can handle html, xhtml, txt, pdf and the like.
> I've just looked at the page now, but it looks like a very useful bit of
> software.
> > Maybe something like this or a updatedocdb crontab, like slocate has and
> we just put the standard doc pathnames in a config file. The customize
> the
> > web search page.
> >
> My understanding is that this is where things become quite technical and
> problematic. There is always a disjunct between what's actually on the
> disk and what is listed in the index.  On portable computers it's harder
> to guarantee that batch indexing jobs will be completed regularly as well.
>  Beagle and Spotlight use kernel hooks to update the index as changes
> occur.  I suppose that RPM packages could run post-install scripts that
> update a document registry (kind of like you suggested) would be a
> relatively non-invasive way to implement something.
> I definitely think that the default start page of the Web browser could be
> used very effectively by the docs project.  The details of
> implementing an index might be a good question for fedora-devel.
> --
> Stuart Ellis
> s ellis fastmail co uk
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