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RE: Emacs Manual topics to remove?

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: Emacs Manual topics to remove?
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2006 09:06:09 -0800

My 2c -

Here are some more candidates for xtras, in addition to those already
identified by others:

* all mail stuff and all news stuff (including gnus)
* all calendar and diary stuff
* version contol (maybe)
* all language modes: C, Fortran, Tex, Nroff, ASM, ...
* running debuggers (GUD)
* international stuff
* AntiNews
* OS-specific stuff (MS Windows, Mac,...), except for basic Unix/GNU-Linux
stuff like man and grep (which is not grouped as OS-specific anyway)

If space permits, these should not be moved out, but if space is tight for
the printed manual, they are candidates.

The xtras "manual" needs a name that doesn't just say "extras". It could be
as simple as making the main manual "Volume 1" and the extras manual "Volume
2". A brief intro in each (printed) manual should describe (characterize)
both manuals. Each manual should include a complete TOC of all topics in
both manuals. It would be better to aim for two volumes that are not
terribly different in size.

In general, the main manual (Volume 1) should include editing that is not
mode-specific, how to get help, search, tags, license and reporting info, a
master index, and info on all major Emacs (user) objects and concepts
(display, frames, windows, buffers, inputting, commands, keys,
customization, ...).

In general, topics that could be moved to xtras include those that are
mode-specific, provide a special service or information, or are less
commonly used.

We should avoid splitting a topic (e.g. calendar/diary, as was suggested),
putting some of its topics in the main manual and others (e.g. advanced) in
the xtras manual. It's better to either include all of a large topic or move
it all to xtras. The content of each manual should be pretty clearly defined
by a set of topics. We should avoid making a division based on intro and
advanced aspects of the same topic.

I agree with those who mentioned that some way should be found to include
the emacs-xtras topics in the main Emacs-manual index, at least in Info. It
should be possible to use Info to navigate to all of the topics (including
xtras) more or less seamlessly.

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