manpages.debian.org: what’s new since the launch?

published 2017-04-09, last modified 2019-02-04 in tag debian

On 2017-01-18, I announced that https://manpages.debian.org had been modernized. Let me catch you up on a few things which happened in the meantime:

  • Debian experimental was added to manpages.debian.org. I was surprised to learn that adding experimental only required 52MB of disk usage. Further, Debian contrib was added after realizing that contrib licenses are compatible with the DFSG.
  • Indentation in some code examples was fixed upstream in mandoc.
  • Address-bar search should now also work in Firefox, which apparently requires a title attribute on the opensearch XML file reference.
  • manpages now specify their language in the HTML tag so that search engines can offer users the most appropriate version of the manpage.
  • I contributed mandocd(8) to the mandoc project, which debiman now uses for significantly faster manpage conversion (useful for disaster recovery/development). An entire run previously took 2 hours on my workstation. With this change, it takes merely 22 minutes. The effects are even more pronounced on manziarly, the VM behind manpages.debian.org.
  • Thanks to Peter Palfrader (weasel) from the Debian System Administrators (DSA) team, manpages.debian.org is now serving its manpages (and most of its redirects) from Debian’s static mirroring infrastructure. That way, planned maintenance won’t result in service downtime. I contributed README.static-mirroring.txt, which describes the infrastructure in more detail.

The list above is not complete, but rather a selection of things I found worth pointing out to the larger public.

There are still a few things I plan to work on soon, so stay tuned :).