Missing /opt/local/share/man/whatis DB

Ryan Schmidt ryandesign at macports.org
Thu Jun 22 01:16:40 UTC 2017

On Jun 20, 2017, at 18:53, Stephen Baber wrote:

> Hi MacPorts architects/maintainers,
> Author of JPortsUI here.  I have built features into the next version
> of my application that use the "whatis" DB to describe the executable
> files installed after MacPorts completes a "port install foo".
> Presently I am letting the user know that this feature won't work for
> them until they Terminal in and run "sudo /usr/libexec/makewhatis
> /opt/local/share/man".
> My question is, were there configuration consequences that MacPorts
> needed to avoid as the reason it does not "makewhatis" itself upon
> updating or installing ports?  All I can foresee is that the
> additional information might change expected responses from "apropos"
> (which would never be used in a production shell script anyway).
> Should I not even be encouraging my users to run "makewhatis" in your
> "/opt/local/share/man/" directory?

Other developers may have other answers as to why MacPorts doesn't do this, but for myself, the answer is that I'm not aware of makewhatis or what it does.

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