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Re: [Groff] Introduction

From: Ted Harding
Subject: Re: [Groff] Introduction
Date: Sat, 22 Oct 2005 14:40:10 +0100 (BST)

On 22-Oct-05 Werner LEMBERG wrote:
>> > This is true but very unfortunate IMHO.  It isn't very difficult
>> > to write a texinfo file, and there are many benefits to do that.
>> However, I have always regretted, even resented, GNU's transition
>> from "man" to "info" for basic reference.
> I *fully* agree.  It seems that you've got the wrong impression that I
> don't like man pages, or that I favour texinfo over man.
> man page are a perfect tool for basic documentation, and I'm always
> disappointed if `man foo' doesn't work.
>> But, nowadays, many GNU man pages are mere stubs, when they used to
>> be full summaries, and the reader is told to read the info document.
> This is sadly true -- note that I've always invested *a lot* of time
> to have the man pages as concise as possible, taking the extra burden
> to hold groff.texinfo in sync.

Werner, please excuse me if I gave the wrong impression! I am not
criticising the man pages for the various components of groff,
which are now excellent (as those of us, who remember drawing up
concordances because "only differences from Unix troff are
documented", will surely agree!).

> Hopefully, all users here have taken a look at groff(1), reading the
> `SEE ALSO' section which brings you to, say, groff(7) or to
> groff_man(7).
>> For instance, though are still far from succeeding, I suspect that
>> the GNU Thought Police really want everyone to use EMACS.
> I don't think so.
>> And it's not difficult to see hints of that in texinfo!
> What exactly do you mean?

Basically the repertoire of keystrokes, which seem to resemble
EMACS ones; OK if you remember them, which I don't (apart from
SPACE and BS). However, to be fair, it does seem that 'info' has
become more transparent over the last year or two than it used
to be.

>> I rarely want to get into the labyrinth of a texinfo document
>> (though I'm pleased it's there I need the more discursive
>> information it contains).
> If a texinfo document appears as a labyrinth, it is badly written, or
> rather, it has a bad structure.  Sadly, groff.texinfo has similar
> problems, but I don't have the time to get a better structure, and
> probably, I'm too involved and too bad at writing documentation to fix
> that properly.  Again, and help is highly welcome -- it basically
> means shifting the chapters and sections, without even editing
> anything.

Again, I'm not particularly criticising groff.texinfo, which does
seem to be pretty good as far as I can judge it. It's more to do
with the general "access route" into info. I confess to having
the same sort of problem with GUI menus -- it requires remembering,
or groping for, a pathway to what you want; whereas my way of
thinking about composing a task is more on the lines of

  "You, you, and you! Line up and do that job."

Best wishes,

E-Mail: (Ted Harding) <address@hidden>
Fax-to-email: +44 (0)870 094 0861
Date: 22-Oct-05                                       Time: 14:23:38
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