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Emacs Info manuals (was: Guile in Emacs)

From: Juri Linkov
Subject: Emacs Info manuals (was: Guile in Emacs)
Date: Sat, 17 Apr 2010 01:29:09 +0300
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.0.50 (x86_64-pc-linux-gnu)

> 1.  The Emacs Manual
> 2.  The Emacs Lisp Intro
> 3.  The Emacs Lisp Reference
> 4.  The online documentation/what you get from describe-function and
> it's kin - The definitive reference to every symbol you can throw at
> Emacs.  Assumed to be up-to-date and accurate.  This is for people
> knee-deep in code right now that can't remember what the third argument
> of the function at point needs to be, or can't remember if what they
> want is insert-file-contents or insert-file-contents-literally.

I'd like to also clarify that the purpose of the fourth is not only to
provide actual information about available functions and their arguments
but also to add dynamical information like whether a function is advised,
what keybindings it has, etc.  IOW, this information can't be in
a static Info file.  So unlike 3 static Info manuals, the online help
manual should be dynamically created at run time.  This is possible to do
using virtual Info manuals.

> I think having cross references between the four sources described above
> is a great thing.  There should be more of that today.

Yes, this would be a great thing, but unfortunately currently
cross references between the online documentation and Info manuals
are largely dysfunctional.  However, with the online documentation
in a virtual Info manual, cross references between these four sources
will use the existing Info cross references, thus providing more
consistent UI.

Juri Linkov

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