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From: Ingo Schwarze <>
To: Michael Stapelberg <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH] Implement -v to display the current version and exit
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2017 01:37:27 +0100	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>


Michael Stapelberg wrote on Mon, Jan 16, 2017 at 09:29:07AM +0100:

> When using mandoc's output in other services (e.g. a web man viewer),
> it would be beneficial to display the version of mandoc that is in
> use.

Why?  In particular in a web viewer, you would end up displaying
that to end users.  They really shouldn't care.

> Currently, one cannot determine mandoc's version in a package
> management-indepent way.

Exactly, and that's a feature.  Version numbers contained in binaries
are very harmful.

Years ago, this option existed.  I got so fed up with it that i
deleted it.  Before, many bug reports were unusable because
people simply said "i'm using mandoc-1.10.5" and didn't bother
mentioning how it was built and packaged, or whether it was -current
or -release.

Once the version-option was gone, that problem completely went away
and people started reporting properly, like "i installed mandoc
from pkgsrc on FreeBSD 9, and ..." or "I compiled mandoc from
CVS HEAD as of (date) on Solaris 11, and ..."

> Please consider merging the attached patch. Thanks!

No, i don't want that.

If you absolutely need that for debian, consider making it a
debian-local patch, but please make sure that the following is
contained in the response printed:

 (1) the substring "debian"
 (2) if the package is OS-version-dependent, the complete version
     of the operating system the binary can run on
 (3) the name of the package manager that created the package
     containing the binary
 (4) the version number that package manager assigned to the
     package, including OS-local patch levels

Including the upstream release number is not important - but
it will likely happen anyway because it's probably part of item (4).

I cannot do that upstream because the essential information to
print is package-manager-dependent, and by definition, the
upstream build system cannot know anything about that.

But anyway, keeping track of which versions of software you have
installed is the task of the package manager in the first place,
and not the task of individual programs.

Oh, by the way, why can't you get the information you want from
the package manager instead of from mandoc?  If you can run

  mandoc -V

i guess you can run

  dpkg-query -l mandoc

with the proper options just as well?

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  reply	other threads:[~2017-01-17  0:37 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 5+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2017-01-16  8:29 Michael Stapelberg
2017-01-17  0:37 ` Ingo Schwarze [this message]
2017-01-17  7:28   ` Michael Stapelberg
2017-01-17 13:09     ` Ingo Schwarze
2017-01-17 13:22       ` Michael Stapelberg

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