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

From: Stefan Monnier
Subject: Re: On being web-friendly and why info must die
Date: Fri, 05 Dec 2014 13:27:09 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.0.50 (gnu/linux)

> The problem is that info(1) is what most people experience as info.

FWIW, I really think that the standalone Info viewer should be kept
secret, because it does a disservice to the reputation of the Info format.

And I really don't mean it to say that it's bad software: within the
constraints of "works only under a tty" and the very little bit of love
it gets, you can't expect it to shine.

But really, the standalone Info reader should start Emacs, and if Emacs
is not installed, it should emit an error message.  And only if Emacs is
not installed and the user did a secret dance would it then start the
true-real-standalone Info-viewer.

> 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.

I don't have strong opinions about different source formats, and they
all have their downsides.  The downsides of Texinfo for me are the weird
redundancy between @node/@section plus the text used in the menu entry:
(very) occasionally it's handy to be able to use 3 different texts for
"the name of the node", "the title of the section", "the text in the
menu entry", but there should be a way to just completely drop the
@node, for instance.  The other downside are indeed the crossrefs which
seem to be way overengineered.


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