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Re: Info enhancements

From: Luc Teirlinck
Subject: Re: Info enhancements
Date: Sat, 6 Dec 2003 15:40:51 -0600 (CST)

Again, sorry for assuming the wrong author in my previous message,
falsely attributing quotes to Eli and misspelling Juri's name
repeatedly (again).  Let us see how many blunders I manage to commit
in the present post.

This concerns the problem with the place references lead to in info.

As already mentioned, I believe that just going to the top of the node
is better than guessing at the risk of misleading the user.

The ideal would be to have a _reliable_ way to go to the correct place
without requiring any changes in existing .texi files.  Since a
solution of this type is probably impossible, we should, in my
opinion, stick with the @anchor solution.

Juri's change requires rewriting references in .texi files in a way
that departs from the present standard style and I believe that Juri
mentioned himself in a previous post that his method is not 100%
reliable.  Hence I would personally _not_ lean toward making this
particular change.  This is, as I already pointed out before,
independent of the question of whether we adopt the other changes in
the patch.

But what do we want to do with @anchor?  I have always actually
_avoided_ using it, because I saw it barely ever used in any major
manual.  For instance, it is _only_ used in texinfo.txi to illustrate
the @anchor command itself and _never_ used in info.texi.  I deduced
from this an implicit stylistic guideline "by example" that one should
use @anchor very sparingly, that is, only if *really* called for, and
that it would not be appropriate to write five or so @anchors per
node.  If anchors are actually preferred over node names, unless the
top of the node is the _real_ target, that should be clearly pointed
out in texinfo.txi.  Or one might give some guidelines on _when_ to use

If we started using @anchor systematically, the apparent inconsistency
with older Texinfo source might be confusing to the user.  A reference
would lead in a random way either to the top of the node or to the
"correct place".  At the very least, something should be said about it
in (info)Help-Xref.



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