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Re: Emacs setup assistants

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: Emacs setup assistants
Date: Wed, 19 May 2004 22:07:10 +0200

> From: David Kastrup <address@hidden>
> Date: 19 May 2004 17:04:16 +0200
> One can easily include a macro file that defines replacements for
> all of the above when one does a conversion to printed form or HTML
> or such.

Please don't: that way lies madness.

The current implementation of Texinfo macros does not lend itself
easily, to put it mildly, to such gross redefinitions.  Moreover, some
built-in directives cannot be redefined at all due to idiosyncrasies
in their processing by makeinfo.  E.g., @defun and its ilk violate the
Texinfo format which generally disallows sole unescaped braces.  Also,
block directives @address@hidden foo are very hard, if at all possible, to
redefine as macros.

Once upon a time, when Texinfo did not yet support HTML, I needed to
produce HTML from Texinfo and tried to do that by redefining built-in
directives.  It was a nightmare to write, debug, and maintain, and
only sort-of worked because the typical Web browser is very permissive
to ugly HTML, as it renders the text on the fly.  Here, you want to
get Info-like ASCII file that needs to be nicely formatted, so the
situation is much worse.

If and when Karl delivers on his long-standing threat to rewrite
makeinfo from scratch, then perhaps it would be possible to implement
the macro expansion (or perhaps redesign the macros altogether, yet
another threat by Karl) so as to allow what you suggest.  But until
and unless that is done, I recommend to stay away of that alternative.

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