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Manweb Reference Documentation(0)	     Manweb Reference Documentation(0)

       manweb -	browse netpbm (and other) documentation

       manweb -help

       manweb [-config=configfile] [topic [ subtopic ... ] ]

       This gets a master index	of documentation.
       manweb netpbm
       This  gets the main documentation page for the Netpbm package, with hy-
       perlinks	to the rest of the documentation.
       manweb netpbm pngtopam
       This goes directly to the documentation page for	the  Pngtopam  program
       in the Netpbm package.
       manweb pngtopam
       This also goes directly to the documentation page for the Pngtopam pro-
       gram in the Netpbm package, if that's what would	run in response	 to  a
       pngtopam	shell command (your PATH environment variable is involved).
       manweb 3	fopen
       This  gets  the	traditional  man page for the fopen() subroutine using
       manweb cp
       This gets the GNU Info manual for the cp	program, using info.

       manweb displays reference documentation via quick shell	commands.   It
       is a replacement	for the	well-known man.

Differences Between Man	and Manweb
       manweb's	advantages over	man are:


		     You can access documentation that is on the worldwide web
	      instead of
		     having locally installed copies.  This saves installation
	      work and gets
		     you more current documentation.


		     Documentation can be in HTML, which is more widely	known,
	      more widely
		     useful, and more expressive than the  nroff/troff	format
	      used by


		     manweb puts your topics in	a tree for multilevel documen-
		     man is intended for a single level	of documentation.  For
		     example, you can have a man page for each shell  command,
	      but not for
		     the subcommands of	a shell	command.  And you cannot prop-
	      erly have
		     man pages for the	members	 of  multiple  subroutine  li-


		     Documentation can be hyperlinked.

       Web  servers  need not be involved -- the documentation can be in local
       files.  Graphics	need not be involved --	the lynx browser works fine in
       the same	kind of	terminals in which man works.

       manweb  finds  the documentation	you specify and	calls a	web browser of
       your choice to display it.  The documentation manweb finds can  be  ei-
       ther  an	 HTML file on your system, in which case, manweb gives a file:
       URL to your browser, or an explicit URL.	 That explicit URL might be an
       http:  URL referring to an HTML file on a web server somewhere, or any-
       thing else your browser understands.

       If manweb finds neither an HTML file nor	a  URL,	 but  your  parameters
       look  like  they	could mean something to	man, manweb calls man.	There-
       fore, you can use a single command to access the	vast  body  of	tradi-
       tional  man  pages,  plus any newer manweb documentation.  You can make
       "man" a shell alias of "manweb".

       manweb finds Info documentation as well.	 It looks for  the  topic  you
       specify	as  an Info topic after	looking	for HTML and URL documentation
       and before running man.	If manweb finds	a corresponding	Info topic, it
       runs the	program	info on	it.  Info is the documentation system that the
       GNU project invented to,	among other things, replace  traditional  Unix
       man  pages.   However, HTML and the Worldwide Web were invented shortly
       afterward, so Info fizzled.  But	there is still a lot of	 GNU  software
       that is documented as Info topics.

   How Manweb Finds Documentation
       manweb passes a URL to a	web browser.  This section tells how your man-
       web invocation parameters turn into that	URL.

       manweb's	search starts in the "web directory" directory.	 That's	either
       the  value  of the webdir keyword in your manweb	configuration file, or
       the default /usr/man/web.

       Your invocation parameters form a "topic	chain."	 Going	from  left  to
       right,  the first parameter is the main topic, the 2nd is a subtopic of
       the main	topic, and so on.

       Let's look at the simple	case where you specify exactly	one  parameter
       --  a  main  topic.   We'll call	it maintopic and look at 4 ways	manweb
       might find it:


	      If manweb	finds a	file named maintopic.html
		     in	the web	directory, the URL manweb passes to the
		     browser is	just a file: URL that specifies	that .html


	      If there's no .html file,	but there is a file named
		     maintopic.url, the	contents of the	first line of
		     that .url file is what manweb passes to the browser.  It
		     doesn't interpret the contents at all.  If	it's  garbage,
		     browser chokes on it.


	      If there's neither a .html nor a .url file, but there is a
		     directory named maintopic,	manweb looks in	the
		     directory for a file named	index.html.  If	there is one,
		     manweb passes a file: URL specifying that
		     index.html	file to	the browser.  If there's no
		     index.html, manweb	uses a file: URL that
		     specifies the directory itself.


	      If manweb	doesn't	find documentation in any of the
		     above  ways,  it searches your executable search path (as
		     by	your PATH environment variable)	for a program named
		     maintopic.	 If it finds one, it looks in the directory
		     that contains the program for a file named	doc.url.  If
		     it	finds one, it appends maintopic.html to	the
		     first line	of the file and	passes that  to	 the  browser.
		     the first line does not end with a	slash -- in that
		     case, manweb passes the first line	of the file unmodified
		     to	the browser.

       It  gets	a little more interesting when you have	subtopics.  Looking at
       each of the 4 cases above:


		     Where maintopic.html exists, subtopics are	invalid.
		     You get a warning message and the subtopics are ignored.


		     Where there's no .html file but maintopic.url exists,
		     manweb appends the	subtopic chain to the URL it gets from
		     .url  file	 as  in	the following example:	.url file con-
	      tains and subtopics are
		     create and
		     database.	The URL	manweb passes to the browser is

	      manweb doesn't check that	this kind of appendage makes
		     any sense for the URL in question,	except that if the URL
	      in the
		     .url file doesn't end with	a slash	(/), manweb
		     issues a warning and doesn't append anything (ignores the


		     Where there's neither a .html file	nor a .url  file,  but
	      there's a
		     maintopic directory, manweb recurses into that
		     directory	and  begins a whole new	search using the first
		     as	the main topic	and  the  rest	of  the	 subtopics  as
	      subtopics	of that.


		     When  there  are  subtopics,  the PATH thing doesn't make
		     so	manweb doesn't do it.

	      If you give subtopics, the PATH thing described  above  for  one
	      topic doesn't apply.

       If  you	give  no parameters at all, manweb generates a URL for the web
       directory itself	as described above for subdirectories.

       The above is simplified by the assumption of a  single  web  directory.
       In  reality, the	webdir keyword in the configuration file can specify a
       chain of	web directories.  manweb searches each one in turn, doing  all
       the  kinds  of  searches	 in each web directory before moving on	to the
       next one.

   The Configuration File
       The default location of the  manweb  configuration  file	 is  /etc/man-
       web.conf.  But you can override this with the environment variable MAN-
       WEB_CONF_FILE, and override that	with the -config invocation option.

       Lines starting with "#" are comments and	 are  ignored,	as  are	 blank

       All  other  lines  have the format keyword=value.  The keywords defined


		     A colon-delimited sequence	of directories to search for
		     documentation as described	above.	If you
		     don't specify this, the default is	/usr/man/web alone.


		     The file specification manweb of the web browser manweb
		     is	to invoke
		     to	display	documentation (except when it uses man to dis-
		     a conventional man	page).
		     If	 the file specification	does not include a slash, man-
		     searches for the file in the PATH search path.

	      If you don't specify this, the default is	the value of the
		     BROWSER environment variable, and if that is not set,

	      #	Configuration file for Manweb


       This manual page	was generated by the Netpbm tool 'makeman'  from  HTML
       source.	The master documentation is at

netpbm documentation			     Manweb Reference Documentation(0)


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