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Re: having heterogenous doc (was Re: On being web-friendly and why info

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: having heterogenous doc (was Re: On being web-friendly and why info must die)
Date: Sat, 06 Dec 2014 10:01:44 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Nic Ferrier <address@hidden> writes:

> Wouldn't it be better to support more documentation formats?

As an editor, Emacs certainly should strive to support commonly used
documentation formats for editing purposes.  That does not require
fragmenting Emacs' documentation into different systems however.

> The Emacs manual and the Elisp manual are very large, perhaps they
> could be more usefully cut up.

They are cut up into nodes and chapters and are navigated through their
extensive indexes and hyperlinks.  Cutting them up into disparate pieces
of documentation makes it harder, not easier, to find relevant

> This could happen over time, with the people doing it making smaller
> manuals in texinfo or asciidoc or a few other formats?

You mean, like the Elisp tutorial in doc/lispintro?  Or the more than a
dozen smaller manuals for particular Emacs subsystems in doc/misc?

> And if the documentation reader allowed a consolidated index then it
> would blur the lines between individual manuals.
> Wouldn't that be a good thing?

Possibly.  But using different or other documentation systems would not
appear to have anything to do with that.

> I think I am opposed to Emacs being written in multiple programming
> languages but it seems like it would be ok to have the documentation
> in whatever format people were comfortable with.

You are confusing the formats the documentation is written in with the
formats the documentation is read in.  Multiple output formats are
useful.  Multiple input formats lead to a fragmentation of efforts.

David Kastrup

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