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Re: Info enhancements

From: Karl Berry
Subject: Re: Info enhancements
Date: Thu, 4 Dec 2003 11:44:22 -0500

       I hope this will not break older Info readers, ...

    If the suggestion does not break older Info readers, then I am all
    for it.  But I think it will break them.  Karl, what do you think?

As Eli said, looking at the code in info/nodes.c, it looks like it will.

When we added @anchor, we broke older Info readers.  The saving grace
there was that only Texinfo documents using @anchor were affected (and
of course there were none of those at the time, and are still relatively
few).  The proposed change would affect all Info documents.

We have to do something compatible.

In this case, I like Stefan's idea of explicitly stating "line".  So my
proposal is to change makeinfo to append "(line NNN)" or the equivalent
to the index lines.  Then the info readers can read it and do the right
thing.  For instance:

* Writing index entries:                 Indexing Commands.  (line 1)
* xdvi:                                  Output Formats.  (line 99)

It is not especially beautiful, but it is 100% compatible, and gets the
job done.  If there is a strong consensus that "Line 1." is preferable
to "(line 1)", I don't mind.

Bob, I don't believe we can put the line numbers in front of the node
names.  That would break existing readers.  (I'm also not entirely
convinced that's more readable, to me having the numbers in front of the
node names is more distracting than the reverse, but that's a moot point.)

I don't see the line indications have to align, but if they do, they
could be right justified to column 79 with maybe four spaces for the
number or something.  Personally I'd just as soon not even try to align
them, as in the example above.

Unless there are vehement objections, I will do this for the next
makeinfo release.  It should be straightforward.


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