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Re: texinfo-all-menus-update

From: Robert J. Chassell
Subject: Re: texinfo-all-menus-update
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 15:51:21 +0000 (UTC)

    >>    Is there any reason why texinfo-all-menus-update produces
    >>    trailing whitespace after the menu entries?
    >> No reason.  It is a bug.  I never noticed it doing that, and am
    >> glad you found it.  I dislike trailing whitespace.

On looking at it again, I found the reason for the trailing whitespace
after the menu entries (or at least one of the reasons).
The whitespace is intended as a feature.

The whitespace is designed to make it easier to write a descriptive
phrase or sentence that explains what the node is about, either
directly or with the help of the `texinfo-start-menu-description'
command.  You start the description after the whitespace, which
provides an indent to a specificed column, so all your descriptions
are lined up.

(See the Texinfo Info File,
    Node: Menu Parts, and Node: Inserting; 
or the printed Texinfo Manual Section: 
    `The Parts of a Menu' and `Inserting Frequently Used Commands'.)

In general, menus should contain descriptions, even though technically
they are optional.  This is because node names and section titles are
often too short to explain the node well.

The whitespace comes from the `texinfo-insert-menu' command which, as
its documentation says,

    Indents the first line of the description, if any, to the value of

The `texinfo-all-menus-update', `texinfo-master-menu', and
`texinfo-make-menu' commands all call the `texinfo-insert-menu'
command.  Also, they automatically incorporate the descriptions from
pre-existing menus, if they exist.

The design question is whether `texinfo-all-menus-update' should make
it easier to add descriptions to menu entries that lack them; or
whether the command should make it easier to avoid adding such

I favor menu entries with descriptions.  Consequently, I have changed
my mind and suggest treating the current functionality as a feature
rather than as a bug.

As you work on a Texinfo document, you can remove all trailing
whitespace with the `delete-trailing-whitespace' command.  (For
convenience I have bound a function key to that command; I use it 

    Robert J. Chassell                  address@hidden
    Rattlesnake Enterprises             http://www.rattlesnake.com

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