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Re: emacs documentation for (La)TeX

From: Joe Corneli
Subject: Re: emacs documentation for (La)TeX
Date: Mon, 22 Dec 2003 15:14:59 -0600

> I think the best approach is to write Texinfo documentation like
> latex2e.texi.

Indeed Michael Wiedmann is currently looking into exporting his
DocBook XML documentation of LaTeX to texinfo format.  But there is
something very nice in my opinion about being able to get the
documentation for Lisp functions with C-h f RET when you are writing
code. Between info-look.el and a more robust latex texinfo manual, it
looks like most of my questions about latex could be answered just as
easily as my ELisp questions[0].  Except perhaps for links to the
source, which may be the most useful feature of describe-function.
Perhaps this feature could be added directly to the texinfo package
(?), but that seems a bit non-standard.

[0] In general I tend to prefer looking at the documentation of
functions whose names I know -- for complicated questions (E.g. "how
do I get the diary to work properly?") that have relatively simple
answers, this often isn't as effective as looking in the manual.  But
it is a habit, and for simple questions it seems to be a very
effective strategy.  It might be that Emacs could do a better job of
providing in-line documentation for high-level questions in the
source files -- or maybe I just need to train myself to reflexively
look in the manual instead of the code for these kinds of
questions. At any rate, the reason I'm so keen on in-line help for
latex functions is mostly my interest in better understanding
low-level questions, where a link to the source together with a terse
doc string is typically the most useful thing one can look at.

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