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Re: INFO on add-ons

From: Ville Skyttä
Subject: Re: INFO on add-ons
Date: 04 Sep 2002 21:22:33 +0300

On Wed, 2002-09-04 at 18:49, Stefan Monnier wrote:

> > (Obviously the retargetable backend is a
> > _huge_ improvement, and I wouldn't go back, although I'd like to go
> > forward from Texinfo to XMLinfo.)

Yeah!  Thumbs up here.

> What's so great about <kindex key="C-x k"/> compared to @kindex C-x k ?
> What's so great about <sample>foobar</sample> compared to @sample{foobar} ?

The user base.  What do you think is the percentage of the technically
oriented people, especially "newcomers", that feel more comfortable with
the former?  Why should a "newcomer" who has a choice learn Texinfo if
she already knows XML?  IMO this is an important accessibility question
too, not just syntactic sugar.

> XML has its advantages, but for a *source* format, it's just way too
> cumbersome/verbose, unless you use an editor that hides the markup,
> but then what would such an editor look like ?

I don't agree.  There's a lot of people who actually like the tag soup,
and who think that a decent syntax highlighting and indentation engine
is good enough.  But the point actually is that people have a choice to
work with XML the way they want.

Some free approaches (no, I haven't tried all of them out):

Of course, there's also a lot of commercial implementations around.

> If you say WYSIWYG, you know that it is very difficult to reconcile
> with the purpose of TeXinfo which is to concentrate on the intent
> and allow many *different* output formats.

No, there's no such thing as WYSIWYG in XML.  It's about structure, not
presentation, as I gather Texinfo is too.  And as I already said in
another message, there's quite a lot one can do with XSLT.

I'm not saying that any project should change from Texinfo to XML
overnight, especially because I don't know enough about the former. 
Personally, I wouldn't mind that, but of course there's a lot of people
who would.  If there's a way to use both XML and Texinfo and make them
coexist happily, I'm all for it.

\/ille Skyttä
ville.skytta at xemacs.org

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