[Pipet Devel] man to man^H^H^Hnode parameters

J.W. Bizzaro bizzaro at geoserve.net
Thu Jul 13 13:33:44 EDT 2000

"J.W. Bizzaro" wrote:
> I just wanted to re-introduce Brad's very cool idea of parsing Unix man pages
> for the purpose of automatically determining the parameters to be used with
> command-line programs imported to run under Piper (as nodes).

I imagine that when Piper is started on a system, it finds all of the programs
in $PATH.  It then proceeds to find the man pages and generate the XML that
defines the parameters.  Why not do this at compile time?  Two reasons: (1)
The programs available should be specific to the $PATH of the user running
Piper and to the permissions that the user has, and (2) if additional programs
are added to the computer, Piper needs to import them without requiring a
rebuild (imagine having to rebuild Piper everytime you put a new program on
your computer!); Piper should just be restarted.  So, everytime Piper starts
up, it should do a quick comparison between what programs are in $PATH and
what programs it last recorded being in $PATH.  I think this approach would be
most convenient for the user, certainly better than an interactive
program-by-program approach.  What do you think?

J.W. Bizzaro                                           jeff at bioinformatics.org
Director, Bioinformatics.org: The Open Lab     http://bioinformatics.org/~jeff
"Let the machine do the dirty work." -- Kernighan and Ritchie

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