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

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: On being web-friendly and why info must die
Date: Sat, 06 Dec 2014 10:48:30 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.0.50 (gnu/linux)

"Eric S. Raymond" <address@hidden> writes:

> Stefan Monnier <address@hidden>:
>> But I can't help point out that there are 2 issues: the source format.
>> And the doc-viewer (which may or may not require translation of the
>> source format to some other format).
> The doc viewer would be a web browser.

A web browser is not at my fingertips when I am working.  Emacs is.  A
web browser's display colors and fonts are optimized for prettiness
rather than efficiency and systematic navigation is not the first thing
on its mind.  As opposed to Info.

> We don't have to solve that problem - not having a separate doc viewer
> would be the point of the change, technically speaking.

As long as the other viewers suck so much, that's not a point in favor.
I actually do the proofreading of LilyPond web pages (which are
generated from Texinfo) in the Info rendition.  And that's also what I
use to look up any other documentation.

I have pointed out the LilyPond documentation and web presence several
times in this thread, and you have ignored it.  If you are unable to
point out any inherent deficiencies with it according to your "shiny is
better" metrics, it would appear that Texinfo-generated HTML is not
problematic as such.

>> Until there is a documentation viewer available in Elisp that is almost
>> as good as Info-mode while being prettier,
> Does a web browser not qualify?  If not, why not?

You are not being serious?  Instant response, permuted indexes with
autocompletion that are a keypress away, instantaneous document-wide
search (even while only one node is actively displayed at any time).

I frequently point people to particular nodes of our online HTML manuals
that could answer their question.  The way I do that is to find the
information in Info, then copy&paste some recognizably unique text
phrase into a web search engine, check that the reference this turns up
is the corresponding online version of the Info manual and then post the
HTML link.

There is no mechanism that will get me results straight from HTML
without at least a tenfold investment of time and effort.

There are search boxes and indexes in the HTML version as well but they
are much much more cumbersome (for using the indexes) and/or with worse
results (for using the search box).

The only meaningful way to use browser search is to look in a
"single-page" version, and that costs a bunch of rendering time, and try
dragging a scrollbar on some document a few hundred pages long.
Navigation becomes really awkward.

David Kastrup

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