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Re: emacs-Xtra

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: emacs-Xtra
Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2006 17:40:19 +0300

> From: Ted Zlatanov <address@hidden>
> Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2006 09:39:42 -0400
> On 14 Apr 2006, address@hidden wrote:
> > Dividing the manual into 2 volumes doesn't solve the problem which is
> > the main cause for trying to keep the manual's size down.  The main
> > cause is that a larger manual increases the price of printing the
> > books, and thus makes it harder for the FSF to publish new versions.
> > (I'm guessing that publishing 2 volumes will increase the price even
> > more.)
> By the same reasoning the FSF should not publish a two-part ELisp
> reference manual, because half of it could be online and it's cheaper
> to publish one book.

You are driving the arguments to absurd, which doesn't help to resolve
the issue in a reasonable way.

ELisp manual is larger than the Emacs user's manual because it needs
to cover more material.  It is impossible to make the ELisp manual
significantly shorter without omitting stuff that Lisp programmers
undoubtfully need to know.

The price of publishing is not the _only_ consideration.  The manual
is published first and foremost to cover the important parts of the
material; but it doesn't have to cover _everything_.  The distinction
between _enough_ and _everything_ is where the price comes into
consideration.  I'm sure you understand all this very well.

> I think that's false reasoning.

That's the reasoning I got from Richard, and I'll let him restate or
revise it (in the latter case, I apologize for possible confusion).

> If the price is prohibitive, let the FSF decide *that*, but Emacs
> certainly contains enough for two and even three manuals, so we
> should not start with the assumption that we have to have a smaller
> manual.

I didn't start with such an assumption, AFAIK the FSF has _already_
decided that the manuals should not grow too much.  We need to find a
practical way to include more stuff in the on-line manual, while not
enlarging the expenses of the printed version too much.

I hope the solution I suggested elsewhere in this thread will be
accepted as a reasonable compromise.

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