[theora-dev] DocBook and XML

Monty xiphmont at xiph.org
Mon Mar 10 19:42:39 PST 2003

I think I can say I've been officially horrified into a coma.

During a routine rebuild after installing DocBook tools, I wandered
away.. and then back and after half an hour, the build was still
stalled on the same command: xsltproc.

Huh?  I thought, has it crashed?

Strace revealed that it was making a bazillion connections all over
the net.  Loking at the XML, it's clear why.  Because our
documentation relies on other XML includes that are URLs!  I have to
depend on *sourceforge* being up to build Vorbis on my local box?

It is not acceptible for a default, out of the box build to require
being on the net to work.  

It is not acceptible for it to rely on the Sourceforge admins being
sober for a change.

It is not acceptible for it to stay apparently dead for half an hour
for no reason the user can see.

It is especially not acceptible for it to *explode* after waiting dead
for half an hour when all I wanted was to build a library:

pdfxmltex --interaction nonstopmode spec.fo
This is pdfTeX, Version 3.14159-1.10b (Web2C 7.4.5)
LaTeX2e <2001/06/01>
Babel <v3.7h> and hyphenation patterns for american, french, german, ngerman, n
ohyphenation, loaded.
xmltex version: 2002/06/25 v1.9 (Exp):
No File: spec.cfg

! LaTeX Error: File `fotex.xmt' not found.

Type X to quit or <RETURN> to proceed,
or enter new name. (Default extension: xmt)

Enter file name: 
! Emergency stop.
<read *> 
l.2 ...ustify" line-height="normal" language="en">

No pages of output.
Transcript written on spec.log.
make[2]: *** [Vorbis_I_spec.pdf] Error 1
make[2]: Leaving directory `/home/xiphmont/MotherfishCVS/vorbis/vorbis/doc'
make[1]: *** [all-recursive] Error 1
make[1]: Leaving directory `/home/xiphmont/MotherfishCVS/vorbis/vorbis/doc'
make: *** [all-recursive] Error 1

<p>We're dangerously close to the same kind of assrape imposed by
automake whenever a bug filters into that system: a middle layer
breaks for no reason that any user who isn't a developer of one of
those layers could be expected to understand.  He can't fix it without
wasting hours of his own time.  He does't know how to get around it.
The build just broke.  "too freakin' bad".

I, personally, just want to correct a freakin' line of code.  Instead
I'll be debugging other peoples' software tonight after wasting
another 50M of disk space on tools I otherwise couldn't care less

...and while I'm at it, I'll be removing the doc build step from the
default build.  If building documentation has become this fragile, it
*should not be part of the default libvorbis distro or build*.  It may
be time to put it in its own CVS module, just to avoid pissing off
users and admins who don't give a shit about the elegance of XML or
all the cool things DocBook can do if you can debug it and are willing
to wait a really long time.

Fucking Fuck.  Gar.

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