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RE: texinfo question about `...' and links - possible enhancement?

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: texinfo question about `...' and links - possible enhancement?
Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2012 16:41:22 -0700

> > > Another possibility might be to provide such linking 
> > > automatically, based on the presence of such a term in
> > > the index.  In that case, whenever foo is indexed, a
> > > mention of `foo' in the manual would link to the same 
> > > target location as the foo index entry does.  If automatic,
> > > there should probably be a way to override that
> > > (turn it off for one or for all occurrences).
> > 
> > This should be possible in Emacs, assuming it could be fast enough
> > (indices could be quite long).
> Juri will come up with a patch within the hour! ;-)

Actually, I did that locally today, to see what it might be like.  I didn't try
any special optimizations, and I didn't try to remove any existing cross refs
that might thus become redundant.

I tried a couple of alternative approaches:

1. Doing it automatically whenever you visit a node (based on a Boolean user

2. Doing it only on demand (a key) for the current node.

It is helpful to have the links (including distinguishing which ones have
already been visited), IMO.

However, it is very slow, as might be expected.  Hence the turn from approach #1
to #2.  But it is still too slow to be useful, IMO.

For #2 I didn't bother to follow up with any attempt to keep or reinstate such
links once they have been added to a given node, i.e., when you revisit it

So unless someone has a good idea about optimizing this, I withdraw the
suggestion.  The effect is helpful, but it is just too slow today.

Instead, two other things can still be helpful in this regard, IMO.

1. A simple patch to provide the symbol at point as the default for `i'.  This
should have been done long ago, IMO.  It makes little sense to offer no default.

2. Highlighting for `...' (and "..."), so you can more easily recognize such

The (trivial) patch (#1) is attached.  I mention #2 because it is a helpful
complement to #1.



#2 makes Elisp symbols etc. stand out, which is one of the benefits of the above
links.  Without highlighting, they just disappear into the noise, IMO, in spite
of the fact that we set them off with `...'.

I would not use Info without #2, personally.  I am only mentioning it, not
proposing it - I've done that more than once in the past.  For those who might
be interested, this is what it looks like:

Attachment: info-2012-09-21.patch
Description: Binary data

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