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Generate man pages for click based CLI applications

Project description

# click-man

[![Build Status](]( [![PyPI Package version](](

Create **man pages** for [click]( application as easy as this:

python3 --command-packages=click_man.commands man_pages

→ Checkout the [debian packaging example](

## What it does

*click-man* will generate one man page per command of your click CLI application specified in `console_scripts` in your ``.

## Installation

pip3 install click-man

**click-man** is also available for Python 2:

pip install click-man

## Usage Recipes

The following sections describe different usage example for *click-man*.

### Use with setuptools

**click-man** provides a sane setuptools command extension which can be used like the following:

python3 --command-packages=click_man.commands man_pages

or specify the man pages target directory:

python3 --command-packages=click_man.commands man_pages --target path/to/man/pages

### Automatic man page installation with setuptools and pip

This approach of installing man pages is problematic for various reasons:

#### (1) Man pages are a UNIX thing

Python in general and with that pip and setuptools are aimed to be platform independent.
Man pages are **not**: they are a UNIX thing which means setuptools does not provide a sane
solution to generate and install man pages.
We should consider using automatic man page installation only with vendor specific packaging, e.g. for `*.deb` or `*.rpm` packages.

#### (2) We want to generate man pages on the fly

First, we do not want to commit man pages to our source control.
We want to generate them on the fly. Either
during build or installation time.

With setuptools and pip we face two problems:

1. If we generate and install them during installation of the package pip does not know about the man pages and thus cannot uninstall it.
2. If we generate them in our build process and add them to your distribution we do not have a way to prevent installation to */usr/share/man* for non-UNIX-like Operating Systems.

### Debian packages

The `debhelper` packages provides a very convenient script called `dh_installman`.
It checks for the `debian/(pkg_name.)manpages` file and it's content which is basically a line by line list of man pages or globs:


We override the rule provided by `dh_installman` to generate our man pages in advance, like this:

python3 --command-packages=click_man.commands man_pages --target debian/tmp/manpages
dh_installman -O--buildsystem=pybuild

Now we are able to build are debian package with the tool of your choice, e.g.:

```debuild -us -uc```

Checkout a working example here: [repo debian package](

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