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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 18:12:27 +0100
User-agent: KMail/4.13.3 (Linux/3.13.0-40-generic; KDE/4.13.3; x86_64; ; )

On Friday 05 December 2014 17:02:39 David Kastrup wrote:
> Can it be related to "Yelp" (the GNOME documentation viewer) nominally
> supporting images, but if you start it on documentation containing not
> merely a few novelty images but documenting every feature with example
> images (like the LilyPond info tree does), it will hang literally
> forever?
> Emacs is the _only_ Info reader I know that can handle the LilyPond
> documentation including images.  The standalone info reader is not
> phased by the LilyPond documentation, but it does not show the images
> either.

I think the problem was that they never considered *.info to support images.  
That's why they never installed the images to the info directory in the first 
place and then started to add replacement text.  It seems pretty rare to 
actually see image files to be distributed with packaged info documents.  Just 
take a look at your /usr/share/info (depends on your distribution of course).  
Before I submitted the patch to GNU Octave the only image there I found was a 
single one for libidn.  I don't have LilyPond installed, but it seems that the 
Debian package (lilypond-doc) does not install the images to the info 
directory either: https://packages.debian.org/wheezy/all/lilypond-doc/filelist  
Not sure if Debian is to blame or if LilyPond doesn't install them.

> Yes, and it is the only one really worth using.  But Texinfo has more
> output formats than just Info.

The problem is that info(1) is what most people experience as info.  But yeah, 
in Emacs we have a good viewer considering the capabilities of the Info 
format.  And sadly other formats seem to lack index support.  That's a problem 
we need to solve if we abandon Info, independently of switching away from 

I think Texinfo itself has a few issues as well.  I only started using it to 
write documentation for the 24.4 release.  I think Cross References (aka 
links) are a bit confusing.  Using a more popular language could lower the 
entry barrier.  But then again I have a bit of a doubt that a change to a 
different format would really attract more people to writing documentation and 
on the other hand it would certainly be a hassle for the majority of people 
already writing documentation.


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