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Re: Latest texi/info to www

From: Harry Putnam
Subject: Re: Latest texi/info to www
Date: 19 Jul 2001 05:50:13 -0700
User-agent: Gnus/5.090001 (Oort Gnus v0.01) Emacs/21.0.104

Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden> writes:

> On Wed, 18 Jul 2001, Robert J. Chassell wrote:
> > Going from Texinfo to HTML means you lose the ability to navigate
> > throughout a multi-page document, but not other things.  You lose the
> > ability to navigate efficiently because of a fundamental deficiency in
> > HTML, which is that it does not distinguish between `own' and `other'
> > documents.  This is why Info is still the most efficient on-line
> > documentation system.
> HTML also lacks the equivalent of Index-search command.  That is by
> far the most efficient way of finding something quickly in a large
> document.  With only simple text search, I feel myself lost in the
> HTML version of a large manual.

Lacking index search is a major drawback of html documentation.  A
regexp search also sorely lacking.  Makes me wonder why some people
prefer html style to info.  I think its usually just lack of
familiarity with navigation commands, and ignorance of the powerfull
on board search techniques.

But in the case being discussed here, I can't think of another handy
way besides html to access the info files on a remote machine.  That
is not a crying need either since space is cheap these days, but would
be handy at times.  Like when jumping around from machine to machine
where you have no control over what is installed or maintained.  One
could setup a home machine to allow html browsing of an
installed/maintained set of documentation.

Some attempts are made to provide some kind of worth while search of
html docs on my Solaris 8 install.  Don't really know how it works or
understand the engine, but Solaris' `answer book' does generate a
series of links, something like `M-x apropos-index' on standalone info
reader, but pulled from general body rather than only indexed items.

With `answer book' you can select all or a subset of a large
collection of documentation.  Then run a string type search on that,
the application then generates a list of urls under headings
indicating the documentation (node) it was found in, followed by a
list of links within that documentation (node).

No way to search amongst a set of indexed items like in info

The `answer book' style is a great step up from just having `Find in
page' but really weak compared to info.

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