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Re: [Re: Navigation, ...

On Wed, Jul 26, 2000 at 04:30:45PM -0400, Hal Burgiss wrote:

> I wonder if each HOWTO (FAQ, etc) could have a 'KEYWORD' section,
> maybe even behind a comment so it is invisible to the end user. Then
> some clever soul could come with something like what makewhatis is for
> man pages based on the keywords. Then something like apropos to pull
> up a list of Docs that match. Even slicker to output it into HTML or
> some other format where each Doc is selectable from the generated
> list. Just thinking out loud ...
> $ howto network
> /usr/doc/HOWTO/Ethernet-HOWTO
> /usr/doc/HOWTO/Intranet-Server-HOWTO
> /usr/doc/HOWTO/mini/IP-Subnetworking
> /usr/doc/HOWTO/mini/Netscape+Proxy
> /usr/doc/HOWTO/mini/Proxy-ARP-Subnet
> /usr/doc/HOWTO/mini/Netrom-Node
> /usr/doc/HOWTO/mini/Netstation
> /usr/doc/HOWTO/NET-3-HOWTO
> /usr/doc/HOWTO/Networking-Overview-HOWTO
> /usr/doc/HOWTO/Unix-Internet-Fundamentals-HOWTO
> /usr/doc/HOWTO/NET3-4-HOWTO
I can already get the above list by going to the howto directory (I
type the alias "how") to do this and then:
$ find . -iname "*net*"

I don't think that keywords that describe the entire HOWTO would be of
much help.  I've been hard-pressed to think up any important keywords
to describe some HOWTOs.

The abstracts of HOWTOs already exist, and could be utilized in
searching.  A simple way to do this would be to collect all the
abstracts into a single file.  Then a user would use grep, an editor,
a pager, etc. to search that "abstract" file.  I can now go to the
HOWTO directory and use zgrep to search all words of all HOWTOs, but
on an old PC it takes a while.  So it would be faster to just search
one abstract file.  With the latest PCs it wouldn't save much time.

If what one was looking for didn't turn up in the abstracts, one might
need to use grep (or zgrep) anyway (to search all the HOWTOs).  The
advantage of a grep search is that it shows the context of the use of
the term.  A keyword doesn't show this.  Thus while I think that doing
the abstract file is more feasible than keywords (for the entire
HOWTO), I don't consider doing it a high priority.

                        David Lawyer

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