Re: Proposal: Replace scrollkeeper


I forgot to mention a few things in my proposal and I'll also answer
some questions I've been asked.

Missing things:

* The install-time hit with Rarian is O(n).  The install-time hit with
scrollkeeper is O(1), however, for values of docs < ~ 1000, Rarian is
quicker (by my timings and extrapolations).  For most people, Rarian
installing packages with help will be quicker.

* Rarian uses the XDG_DATA_DIRS to determine the location of its
meta-data files ($XDG_DATA_DIRS/help/*.document at the moment).  By
default this looks in /usr/share, /usr/local/share and $HOME/.share
(XDG_DATA_HOME).  jhbuild sets this when starting a session and most
distro's won't install help outside the default.

* There are no (zero, zip, none) translatable strings in Rarian, so
translations shouldn't be an issue.  The only strings are when something
goes wrong parsing a file, in which case Rarian continues and spits out
a warning to stderr.  The user should never see these.

* Bug reports should go into the google code bug-tracker [1].  I'll also
request a product for it for people who don't have /
want a Google account but want to contribute. [2]


Vincent Untz was found to say:
> So, we don't have to change anything in any other modules for this to
> work? I guess to get more testing, we could just change our jhbuild
> moduleset (and wait for distros to use this).

Elijah Newren wanted to know too:
> You rock!!  So am I understanding correctly that not only Rarian many
> times cooler, but it's a drop in replacement with no work yet required
> on anyone's part?  If so, that's just unbelievably cool.  :-)

Yep.  Nothing needs changed except jhbuild (s/scrollkeeper/Rarian/
almost does it).  Indeed, Rarian is many times cooler (at least for the
sort of weird person that is interested in documentation meta-data.
All, erm, 1 of me).

> Also, are you still waiting for admins to create some
> accounts for you?

I pretty much gave up.  The bugs are still open [3], but the project has a 
Google Code page now.  Would be nice to migrate to freedesktop at some point.

BJ�Lindqvist did sayith:
> Lacking documentation is a killer. As the author of the software it is
> your responsibility to ensure that there is decent documentation for
> the software you propose others to use. That point really cannot be
> stressed enough. Rarian is probably much better than scrollkeeper, but
> without documentation (which scrollkeeper has) it's a no go for me.

Yes, I know.  My bad.  I'm actively working on documentation for the
library and the supported meta-data files.  It will be in the 0.5.2
release which will be out by the end of next week (I hope).

BJ�Lindqvist continued:
> Trollish, (but I'm honestly curious :)) why did you write it in C when
> there are many other languages around more suitable to the job?

The library is in C because C rocks (or to ensure compatibility and
reduce any overhead)!  The utilities are written in a mix of C, C++ and
bash.  C++ because I'm using tinyXML.  The reason I didn't use anything
else (trust me, I wanted to) was because I didn't want to introduce any
new dependencies over scrollkeeper (I actually managed to cut the
dependency list by 1 (libxml) and made another other optional

[2] I just visited the tracker to find it's address and discovered 5
bugs already, three with patches :)  I really should set up a mail relay
when bugs arrive.

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