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Re: ifinfo vs ifnottex

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: ifinfo vs ifnottex
Date: Fri, 19 May 2006 14:04:31 +0300

> Date: Thu, 18 May 2006 22:32:48 -0500 (CDT)
> From: Luc Teirlinck <address@hidden>
> CC: address@hidden, address@hidden
> I have the impression that after my changes, the docbook output will
> be in acceptable form.  If this is good enough, then this settles the
> issue, as treating docbook separately will make things more complex.
> If we want the docbook output to look as perfect as possible, assuming
> that it should look more like Tex than like any of the other outputs,
> then not only my changes, but all other occurrences of @tex vs
> @ifnottex in the Emacs and Elisp manual might have to be reconsidered.
> (That is a _lot_ more occurrences than just my proposed changes and
> hence quite some work.)  If we want the plain text output to look as
> close as possible to perfect too, rather than just acceptable, even
> more complexity and changes are needed.

IMO, the complexities are not relevant.  What is relevant, IMO, is
whether we want to support any formats other than Info and DVI in the
documentation directories.  (Note that the Makefile's currently don't
support anything beyond these two formats.)  If we want to support
DocBook, then we need to do whatever it takes to do it properly.  If
we don't want to support it, we should at least add some error
directive to that effect, conditioned on @ifdocbook.

> 3.  Situations like:
> @ifinfo
> (@pxref{Tab Stops}),
> @end ifinfo
> @iftex
> (see next section),
> @end iftex
> Again, we could try to be more perfect here for plain text and maybe
> docbook by making them go with Tex.  Worth the trouble?

I don't see any trouble, just a few more @ifSOMETHING blocks.

> 4. Situations like:
>   This section describes the commands to check the spelling of a single
> word or of a portion of a buffer.  These commands work with the spelling
> checker programs Aspell and Ispell, which are not part of Emacs.
> @ifinfo
> @xref{Top, Aspell,, aspell, The Aspell Manual}.
> @end ifinfo
> I guess the @ifinfo is there to save place in the _published_ Emacs
> manual.  The reference is appropriate for plain text and docbook.

I don't understand why you consistently speak about DocBook as if it
were an on-line format.  It isn't, AFAIK; it is a format used to write
technical documentation that is intended to be published as a book.
AFAIK, many publishing houses use this format.  For example, the Gawk
documentation, maintained in Texinfo, was published by O'Reilly by
generating the DocBook format using makeinfo, then the result was
edited by hand to add typographic sugar not supported by Texinfo, and
finally, printed as a beautifully typeset book.

> 5.  Situations like:
> @iftex
> mode (@pxref{TeX Mode}).
> @end iftex
> @ifinfo
> mode.
> @end ifinfo
> I do not understand this one and similar ones at all.

I don't understand this, either; looks like a bug.  FWIW, it was in
the CVS since day one.

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