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RE: bug#10385: e binding in info-mode

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: bug#10385: e binding in info-mode
Date: Sat, 7 Jan 2012 23:02:54 -0800

>     Why?  What if someone wants to create a small Info file 
>     and doesn't want to bother with texinfo or doesn't have the
>     conversion/make tools handy?
> It is really preferable to write in Texinfo.

I wouldn't argue with that.  I'm sure you are right.

> I don't see a reason why we should want to encourage people
> to write Info files directly.

Mere existence of the command `Info-edit' is hardly encouragement.  Have you
noticed a problem with users being too encouraged to write Info files by hand
over the last 30 years?

And during that time they have even had a simple, advertised key binding for
`Info-edit', which binding is being removed now anyway.

> Have you encountered anyone who really wanted to do so?

Nope.  But if I had to edit an Info node (which has not been the case so far)
and I did not have texinfo, makeinfo, etc. on my laptop (which is the case), I
wouldn't hesitate to do it.

And note that the Info manual has a section, `Expert Info' (with 5 subsections),
that describes "how to write an Info file by hand" and how to "install it
manually".  That suggests at least as much encouragement to write Info files by
hand as does the mere existence of command `Info-edit'.

The manual does not at all say or suggest that writing Info files by hand is
useless.  What it says, in fact, is "_in most cases_, writing a Texinfo file is
better, since you can use it to make a printed manual or produce other formats,
such as HTML and DocBook, as well as for generating Info files".

"In most cases" is a far cry from always.  And surely if it were truly useless
to write Info files by hand we would not devote 6 nodes of the Info manual to
explaining in detail how to do it (?).

Granted, `Info-edit' is not the same as all that is discussed in the manual
under the topic of writing an Info file by hand.  But your question was about
writing an Info file by hand, and here is a far greater encouragement than

AFAICT, we seem to be saying in the Info manual that there is a use case for
hand editing, even if we say that in most cases Texinfo is more useful.  Both
the Info manual and the lack of installed `makeinfo' for at least some users on
some systems (non-development laptops? phones? tablets?) argue that hand editing
is not useless.

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