> < ^ Date: Sat, 08 Sep 2001 20:23:49 +0200
> < ^ From: Greg Gamble <greg.gamble@math.rwth-aachen.de >
> ^ Subject: Manuals at GAP websites

Dear GAP forum,

There has been some discussion recently among the GAP developers
with regard to putting all the GAP manuals (including the package manuals)
at the GAP websites. The question is what is the best way to do this? ...
and, as suggested by Charley Wright, we invite user comment on this.
Replies can be sent to the forum or directly to gap-trouble@dcs.st-and.ac.uk.

Essentially there are 3 main choices:

1) Compile the HTML form of the manuals as one file per section.

This is what was done for the GAP 4.2 manuals. See URL:
http://www.gap-system.org/Info4/manual.html (UK)
http://www.math.rwth-aachen.de/~GAP/Info4/manual.html (Germany)
http://mirrors.ccs.neu.edu/GAP/NEU/Info4/manual.html (USA)
http://wwwmaths.anu.edu.au/research.groups/algebra/GAP/www/Info4/manual.html (Australia)
Filesize stats one would expect for the GAP 4.3 Ref manual done this way:
Mean: 5046, Pop'n St Dev: 4813, Max: 51592, Min: 554 (bytes)

2) Compile the HTML form of the manuals as one file per chapter.

This is how they appear in the distribution. A demonstration site
with all the packages is at URL:
Filesize stats one gets for the reference manual:
Mean: 31754, Pop'n St Dev: 32255, Max: 168291, Min: 1128 (bytes)

3) Compile the HTML form of the manuals as one file per chapter, but
   then adjust links and compress with gzip. 
You can see the effect of doing this at URL:
Filesize stats one could expect for the GAP 4.3 Ref manual done this way:
  Mean:  7600, Pop'n St Dev:  7200, Max:  38100, Min:  420 (bytes)

The simplest solution is 2), since then the manuals on the web can be
directly copied from the distribution, which makes it easier and thus
more likely that these manuals will be kept up-to-date with bugfixes
and new package releases (assuming packages standardise on one file per
chapter, which is not true currently).

However, 2) may be unacceptable to some home users - some of the larger
files may take `too long' to download.

I believe that all current versions of web browsers in common use support
automatic decompression and serving of gzip-ed files, e.g. Netscape, Opera,
Lynx. I'm pretty sure Internet Explorer on Windows does too ... but could
someone please confirm that, by navigating the URL for 3).

Could people in the forum, particularly home users, please navigate the sites
listed in 1) (closest one), 2) and 3) and tell us of their experiences?

Here are some large file cases for each that perhaps should be concentrated

1) : http://www.math.rwth-aachen.de/~GAP/Manual4/ref/indxI.htm
2) : http://www.math.rwth-aachen.de/~Greg.Gamble/gap4r3/doc/htm/ref/CHAP061.htm
3) : http://www.csee.uq.edu.au/~gap/gap4r2/doc/htm/ref/CHAP060.htm.gz

All comments are welcome.

  Greg Gamble
Greg Gamble   __________________   mailto:gregg@math.rwth-aachen.de
Lehrstuhl D fuer Mathematik                     Tel: +49 241 804545
Templergraben 64                                
52062 Aachen, Germany   http://www.math.rwth-aachen.de/~Greg.Gamble

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