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texinfo-5.0 available

From: Karl Berry
Subject: texinfo-5.0 available
Date: Sun, 17 Feb 2013 02:34:07 GMT

We have released version 5.0 of Texinfo, the GNU documentation format.

It's available via a mirror (xz is much smaller than gz,
but gz is available too just in case):

Or if automatic redirection fails, the list of mirrors is at:

Or if need be you can use the main GNU ftp server:

Or via rsync://; some mirrors also support rsync.

As you might imagine, there are numerous changes since the previous
release (4.13, over four long years ago).  By far the biggest change is
a complete reimplementation of makeinfo.  It is now much more flexible
but also, sadly, much slower, despite all our optimization efforts.  We
hope all the many improvements make the new version worthwhile for users

The full NEWS is below.  It's also available at

Please email bugs or suggestions to address@hidden,
general discussion to address@hidden
The Texinfo home page:

Special thanks to my colleagues Patrice Dumas (for creating the new makeinfo)
and Sergey Poznyakoff (for maintaining the standalone Info).

Happy documenting,

Texinfo 5.0 (16 February 2013)
* Language:
  . Texinfo commands are supported in node names.
  . #line directives are recognized.
  . @-commands are now recognized in raw format blocks.  Therefore, for
    example, lone @, { and } characters in @tex, @html and similar
    environments must be converted to the normal @@, @{, and @} commands.
  . new commands @inlinefmt and @inlineraw for brace-delimited conditionals.
  . new conditionals @ifcommanddefined and @ifcommandnotdefined to test
    if a Texinfo command is available.
  . new command @part for a group of chapters.
  . new environments @raggedright, @smallquotation,
      @indentedblock, and @smallindentedblock.
  . new commands @codequoteundirected and @codequotebacktick,
      for a better interface than the @set variables; now respected by @kbd.
  . new command @xrefautomaticsectiontitle to allow using section titles
      in cross references by default, instead of node names.
  . new commands for Texinfo special characters:
    @atchar{} @lbracechar{} @rbracechar{} @backslashchar{} @hashchar{}.
  . new commands @deftypefnnewline to print return types on their own lines.
  . new command @headitemfont for the sake of template rows.
  . new command @urefbreakstyle to control breaking of @url/@uref in TeX.
  . new diacritic command @ogonek.
  . new commands for Icelandic letters eth and thorn: @DH{} @dh{} @TH{} @th{}.
  . new command @errormsg to report an error.
  . five-argument xrefs can refer to a whole manual, by omitting the
      section name and either omitting the node name or using "Top".
  . DEL (0x7f = 0177 = 127) is a true comment character (catcode 14 in TeX).

* texi2any is the new generic converter for Texinfo that can produce all
  supported output formats, both those from texi2dvi (PDF/DVI) and from
  makeinfo (Info/HTML/etc.).  texi2any and makeinfo are now different
  names for the same program; there are no differences in behavior based
  on the program name.

  The new implementation is in Perl, requiring Perl 5.7.3 (released in
  March 2002) and its standard Encode module.
  The Perl texi2any/makeinfo both replaces and is intended to be (for
  all practical purposes) upward-compatible with the C makeinfo.  It has
  many new features not in the C makeinfo.  For example, cross-manual
  references are now fully supported, and allows for extensive
  customization of the HTML output.  See the `Generic Translator
  texi2any' chapter in the manual (among other places) for more about
  this reimplementation.
  The new program is, unfortunately, noticeably slower at present than
  the C program was.  We hope all the many improvements make the new
  version worthwhile for users nevertheless.

* pod2texi is a new (Perl) program that uses the capabilities of
  texi2any to translate Perl pod documentation to Texinfo.
* texinfo.tex:
  . urls (given to @uref and @url) are broken by default at special
    characters; behavior controllable with @urefbreakstyle.
  . support some per-language hyphenation, when the underlying TeX
    engine does (for instance, etex/pdfetex from TeX Live 2008 or
    later).  Words with accented letters are still not handled properly.
  . @title, text will be broken if needed, and @* can be used to override.
  . new Icelandic translation: txi-is.tex.
  . new Hungarian translation: txi-hu.tex.
  . official updates between full package releases available at

* texi2dvi:
  . new option --max-iterations.
  . official updates between full package releases available at
* info:
  . INFOPATH is determined from PATH by default, or if an element "PATH"
    is specified.
  . New command Info-virtual-index, bound to I by default, following Emacs.
  . Info keywords not found by searches.
  . A lower limit on the length of search patterns, default 1,
    specified by the variable min-search-length.
  . Use ASCII versions of images, if supplied by the document.
  . xz compression supported.

* install-info:
  . xz compression supported.

* Documentation:
  . new appendix with a technical description of the Info file format.
  . information on the customizations of the HTML output now possible.

* Distribution:
  . new file htmlxref.cnf is installed to support cross-manual
    references; official updates between full package releases available
  . language support for no removed/renamed to nb, per Norwegian translators.
  . new translations: id it,
    and document translations: eo pl.
  . file removed since it is (to our knowledge) unused.
  . documentation license now GFDLv1.3 or later.
  . autoconf 2.69, automake 1.13.1, gettext 0.18.2.

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