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bug#18308: 24.4.50; Info viewer cannot follow menu entry for '(texinfo)

From: Gavin Smith
Subject: bug#18308: 24.4.50; Info viewer cannot follow menu entry for '(texinfo) @- @hyphenation'
Date: Fri, 22 Aug 2014 21:12:06 +0100

On Fri, Aug 22, 2014 at 6:17 PM, Richard Stallman <address@hidden> wrote:
> I think the real fix for this sort of thing is to develop
> a replacement for the Info reader which uses HTML.
> That's why I was enthusiastic about that project when it was announced.

Somebody would have to define how HTML should be used for Texinfo manuals, e.g.:
* Naming of HTML files for references between nodes and files
* How indices should be expressed
* What version of HTML, what constructs are allowed.
* Where these files are to be stored in the filesystem

There's a chance for incompatibilities here as well, especially if a
wide range of HTML features is allowed (or JavaScript or CSS). Authors
of generating programs would have to be encouraged to stick within the
approved dialect. Compatibility for different web browsers has been an
ongoing issue for web page writers.

I don't see the point in writing a browser to read a dialect of HTML
used for Texinfo manuals when there are already many web browsers out
there. At the same time I'd like to continue to be able to type "info"
at the command line and get a similar user interface to current, which
I think existing terminal web browsers couldn't provide for every

I don't think compatibility between Info-generating and reading
programs is a great reason to use HTML instead. It can't be worse than
worrying about how HTML will appear in dozens of different versions of
web browsers.

Are there reasons to use HTML other than compatiblity? For example, if
users would prefer to access locally-installed documentation in a web
browser (instead of using the web browser to look at the manual over
the Internet, or reading it in emacs or in a terminal emulator), maybe
HTML documentation could be installed in a standard location when
packages are installed. An idea I just had is there could be a locally
running documentation webserver daemon that could serve this
documentation, as a kind of "local web app".

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