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Re: documentation bug: Mule and MSDOS

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: documentation bug: Mule and MSDOS
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2001 11:16:11 +0200 (IST)

On Wed, 28 Mar 2001, dirk janssen wrote:

> Suggestion:
> Move/copy the 2 last paragraphs from the end of the MSDOS:International
> section to an independent section ``Reading
> MS-DOS and Windows files on other operating systems'' (either in MS-DOS or
> mule part of the manual) and make a Note-link to it from the other
> section.
> Rationale:
> Reading MSDOS files is a common operation, that is different from reading
> normal encodings. It is non-trivial for people who do not use encodings
> often.

Do you still think this is necessary, given that the this text:

> >     A special class of coding systems, collectively known as
> >     "codepages", is designed to support text encoded by MS-Windows and
> >     MS-DOS software.  To use any of these systems, you need to create it
> >     with `M-x codepage-setup'.  *Note MS-DOS and MULE::.

is already in the general (i.e. not DOS-specific) section of the
manual?  If you think some information is still missing, please tell
what is missing.

> > > 3. the MULE docs do not mention codepages at all, one has to go to the
> > > emacs on dos section.
> >
> > The most efficient method of finding something in the manual is by
> > using the Info-index command (bound to `i' in Info mode).  If you use
> > that, you will find the information no matter where in the manual it
> > is located.
> yes, I know. But: - looking for `international' or `european' didn't help
> much. Looking for `ms-dos' gives a ton of references. Looking for `code
> page' works, but how am I (or the average user) to know that that is how
> the dos system is called?

Please suggest additional index entries for this issue, if you think
that "codepage" isn't enough.  The problem with "international" and
"european" is that these are too general, but perhaps you can suggest
index entries which include these words and still are specific enough
to catch the eyes of users who look for the information that you were

> > dos-codepage-setup doesn't do anything that is useful to Unix and
> > GNU/Linux systems.  You need codepage-setup, which is described right
> > next to dos-codepage-setup.
> but without any mentioning of the fact that the first command is only for
> dos users and the second for unix users.

I'll make sure it is clear that dos-codepage-setup is not useful for
Unix and GNU/Linux systems.  Thanks for pointing this out.

> >     By default, Emacs defines a coding system to support the current
> >     codepage.  To define a coding system for some other codepage (e.g., to
> >     visit a file written on a DOS machine in another country), use the `M-x
> >     codepage-setup' command.  It prompts for the 3-digit code of the
> >     codepage, with completion, then creates the coding system for the
> >     specified codepage.  You can then use the new coding system to read and
> >     write files, but you must specify it explicitly for the file command
> >     when you want to use it (*note Specify Coding::).
> >
> this is a perfect text, but in the wrong place: Somewhere at the bottom of
> the I18N (how cryptic can you get?) section on using emacs on ms-dos
> (``This section briefly describes the peculiarities of using Emacs under
> the MS-DOS "operating system"''). The next paragraph mentions my problem!

I'll add something that will be more user-friendly to users of Unix
and GNU systems.

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