Plugin: texinfo
Author: tschwinge
Included in ikiwiki: no
Enabled by default: no
Included in goodstuff: no
Currently enabled: no

I started writing a plugin to render GNU Texinfo inside the ikiwiki environment.

This plugin is not neccessarily meant to enable people to write arbitrary wiki pages in the Texinfo format (even though that is possible, of course), but rather to ease collaboration on existing Texinfo documents.

The plugin is available at

It's very basic at the moment, but will be improved over time.

It also has not really been audited for any security issues.


How can I use verbatiminclude?

I only can post a file ...

N-to-M Mapping of Input and Output Files

Conventional ikiwiki htmlizeing plugins have a one-to-one mapping of input file and output file: some/where/page.mdwn is rendered to some/where/page.html. This can also be achieved for Texinfo files, but is somewhat unusual there, when rendering them to HTML. In general, there is a N-to-M mapping:

  • N Texinfo input files (a main .texi file, several helper files (fdl.texi, version.texi, ...), and additional text files which are included from the main .texi file, e.g. history.texi, libfoo.texi, libbar.texi. --tschwinge

As far as multiple input files, you'd need to use add_depends() to let ikiwiki know that a change to any of those files should cause a rebuild of the "main" file. --Joey

(?) I'll see about a frob to get makeinfo provide me with a list of additional files it used for rendering a given .texi file. --tschwinge

I guess you'd also have to somehow deal with it wanting to render pages for each of the helper files. Not quite sure what the best way would be to avoid that. --Joey

Might it be an option to simply not render the pages that are already being used as an include file for another .texi file? But how to assemble that list before actually having rendered all .texi files? One possibility might be to already render them at ikiwiki's scanning stage and store the rendered HTML files into temporary directories, and then at ikiwiki's rendering stage simply install the desired ones into the main tree and discard the others. --tschwinge

Ikiwiki is perfectly happy with a page creating other files (see eg, the img and teximg plugins, as well as the inline plugin's rss generation). The will_render() function supports that.

What hasn't been done though is a page creating more than one other page. Perhaps you could call IkiWiki::genpage by hand for each additional page. You might also want to manipulate each data structure that tracks info about pages, adding the additional pages to them, so that they're first class pages that work as pages everywhere in ikiwiki (ie, can be inlined, appear in a site map, be linked to, etc). Not sure how to do that, and perhaps you could get away without doing it actually. --Joey

Currently I use makeinfo --no-split and render to stdout, so that I can easily capture the output and stuff it into the appropriate ikiwiki data structure. If we want to have multiple output files (which we'll eventually want to have, to avoid having such large single-file outputs), we won't be able to do this anymore. (?) Then we'll need a way to find the main output file, which will be the one to be copied into what ikiwiki expects to be the main output of the rendered .texi file. Perhaps (again) parse the .texi file for a @setfilename statement? The other generated files will also have to copied somewhere (preferably into a subdirectory named alike the main file to avoid name space collisions; but need to take care of links between the files then) and need to be registed within the ikiwiki system. --tschwinge

There needs to be some logic to establish a mapping between the N input files and the M output files. (At least for web-editing via CGI this is needed: ikiwiki (currently) needs to be able to deduce one input file from a given output file) Easiest would be either to have N = 1 (plus perhaps some input files that are not meant to be editable, like gpl.texi) or to have M = N and have a (?) one-to-one mapping between input file n and output file m (which is not possible in Texinfo's makeinfo at the moment). --tschwinge

makeinfo Output

makeinfo --html is being used for rendering. It creates stand-alone HTML files, while ikiwiki only needs the files' <body>s.

(?) One possibility (which is what I'm doing at the moment) is to simply cut away everythin until <body> is seen and after </body> has been seen. --tschwinge


Non-functional Texinfo Commands

Those commands are know to not work currently:

  • @printindex
  • @shortcontents
  • @contents

This is due to makeinfo not providing this functionality if rendering to stdout.