[texdoc] ~/.texdoc.cnf?

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Mon Sep 22 03:03:25 CEST 2008

Karl Berry writes:
 >     Hmm, why don't you want to use TEXMFHOME/texdoc/texdoc.cnf? 
 > Because I don't have any TEXMFHOME and I don't want to create one just
 > for this :).

Hi Karl,
I think that what texdoc actually does is fine.  I'm not very happy
with config files outside texmf trees, like ~/.dvipsrc.

 > I had another complicating idea: one more environment variable, say
 > TEXDOC_CNF_NAME, which gives the name of a .cnf file.

There are many texdoc*.cnf files which texdoc tries to read. An
environment var is not sufficient.

 > Or, wait, is there an envvar to specify the texdoc.cnf *path*?
 > That would suffice too.

This sounds more reasonable, but there is no path.  Config files are
determined dynamically.  TL only ships $TEXMFMAIN/tldoc/tldoc.cnf but
texdoc looks for config files in many directories.

A system administrator could provide $TEXMFLOCAL/tldoc/tldoc.cnf which
only contains variables he want to be changed.  A user can provide
$TEXMFHOME/tldoc/tldoc.cnf if he wants to overwrite default values or
variables set by his administrator.

So far, it's comparable with the strategy used by kpathsea in order to
process texmf.cnf.  But this is not the whole truth.  texdoc provides
another feature:

If a particular program is not available on a particular platform, the
admin can create a file $TEXMFLOCAL/tldoc/tldoc-<platform>.cnf which 
is evaluated only on this particular platform.  A user can do the

Hence, there is no file which is worth to be attached to an
environment variable.  The way variables are gathered from various
config files is non-trivial.

Assume that such an environment variable exists, it certainly
circumvents all the features provided by texdoc.  And we have to
explain users not to use it again and again...

 > Sorry, I've confused myself ...

:)  I hope that I didn't confused you even more.  You know my opinion
about environment variables already. :) 


Reinhard Kotucha			              Phone: +49-511-3373112
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover	                      mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Microsoft isn't the answer. Microsoft is the question, and the answer is NO.

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