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Re: On being web-friendly and why info must die

From: Rüdiger Sonderfeld
Subject: Re: On being web-friendly and why info must die
Date: Fri, 05 Dec 2014 16:54:46 +0100
User-agent: KMail/4.13.3 (Linux/3.13.0-40-generic; KDE/4.13.3; x86_64; ; )

On Friday 05 December 2014 07:35:49 Eric S. Raymond wrote:
> The positioning problem is that info/Texinfo makes us look like a
> steam-powered archaic joke to younger developers.  Text-only
> presentation with obtrusive links and a complex command set for a
> viewer that's *not a web browser*?  In 2014?  Really?

texinfo does support images and in fact the info viewer in GNU Emacs supports 
those images.  But sadly this doesn't seem to be common knowledge and there 
are even projects who use images in their texinfo documents disabling them for 
the info support and only enabling them for html/pdf export.  E.g., I recently 
provided a patch to GNU Octave to change this but still there are cases where 
it shows a "no image" text instead.

But I have to agree that info(1) is just confusing and weird.  I only started 
liking info pages after I started to use the GNU Emacs info reader.

> I have discussed this with RMS and, pending my ability to actually write
> proper translation tools, we have agreed on asciidoc as a new master
> format.  This is what should replace Texinfo and the gallimaufry of
> ad-hoc text files like /etc/CONTRIBUTE and the admin/notes stuff.

Why not use org-mode instead?  It is part of GNU Emacs and it is very 
flexible.  E.g., /etc/CONTRIBUTE is actually written in outline-mode, which is 
the basis of org-mode.

I think the long term plan was to replace the info viewer in GNU Emacs with a 
viewer based on eww that could read the HTML versions of texinfo files.  The 
key point that is lacking though is the index.  HTML (or PDF) have no index 
support and an extension to support it would be required.


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