Documentation Distribution

John Ralls jralls at
Sun Feb 28 12:40:49 EST 2016

> On Feb 28, 2016, at 7:14 AM, David T. <sunfish62 at> wrote:
> In looking at some documentation issues, I began to look at the package I installed on my machine. I noticed that GnuCash ships with all four documentation sets: English, German, Italian and Japanese. These documentation sets take up a lot of space and probably add significant heft to the GnuCash download size. Is there some way to offload the documentation so that a user installs only the language of their choosing? Assuming that the documentation is or will be translated into other languages, how should the documentation for languages other than these four handled? Adding 10-20MB of content per language to the tarball is not a viable option, long term…

I expected compression to mitigate that, but it doesn't. I made a dmg with the German, Italian, and Japanese documentation removed and it's 63MB vs. 109MB for the version with documentation, so about 15MB per documentation set.The next release will include Portuguese translations as well, so we can expect another ~15MB. The message catalogs are each much smaller, but there are a lot of them so that the total is another 30MB; removing them saves another 12MB from the dmg so that it's only 52MB. That means about half of the Mac (and presumably Win32) download is translations. 

OTOH  TurboTax 2015 is 117MB, LibreOffice 4.3.5 is 190MB, VMWare Fusion is  379MB, and Xcode 6.4 is 2.8GB. GnuCash's download size isn't out of line and the 15MB increase for the Portuguese documentation won't change that.

gnucash-docs-2.6.11.tar.gz is 66.4MB. We could make that about 10% smaller by switching to bz2 or xz. To split it into individual language tarballs would take a bit of work on the build system, but it's certainly feasible.

For the guide I don't think it's unreasonable to remove it from the Help menu and simply direct people to to download it or read it online. The guide is about 10-12MB to help's 1-2 so removing all 5 (de, en, it, ja, and pt) would be the biggest part of the weight reduction. Help is needed for context help. For Mac bundles we could instruct users to get it from and install it in ~/Library/Application Support/GnuCash or perhaps provide a little Applet to do that for them. Windows needs help in .chm format which in turn requires a tool called Windows Help Workshop which runs only on Win32. The logical thing to do there would be to modify the installer to ask the user what documentation version is wanted and to download it and install it in the right place, but that assumes that the installer is able to do downloads.

Any volunteers?

John Ralls

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