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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 12:18:42 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.0.50 (gnu/linux)

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

> Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden>:
>> > > 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?
>> Not to me, not as progress from the current situation.
>> > If not, why not?
>> Because copy/pasting docs from a separate program while working on
>> something in Emacs is an annoyance
> Granted.  But eww is part of the background conditions now.  Emacs
> itself is a browser, and will become a better one.
>> And also because the index-searching commands, without which you are
>> lost in a large manual, don't exist in the Web browsers out there.
> This is not at *all* hard to solve.  I have written HTML generators
> that produce index links myself in different contexts.

Good grief.  Texinfo _does_ produce indexes in its HTML output.  But the
browsers offer no reasonable navigation for them as they are just
hyperlinked pages like the rest.

> Generating that kind of link structure from any modern markup is
> almost trivial.  If you don't understand this it is unsurprising that
> you are opposed.  But it is quite surprising that you don't
> understand.

If you could stop presuming the sole reason somebody could disagree with
you is because he is an idiot, it would make it easier to lead something
akin to a civilized discussion.

Getting the information condensed into some form of HTML is not the
problem.  The problem is actually having it accessible in the browser in
a manner catered to the actual use rather than like every other HTML.

It is not so much the Info format competing with HTML (though
instantaneous rendering and response do have their perks).  It is the
Emacs Info reader competing with generic HTML browsers.

That's the measuring yard, not the standalone Info reader.

>> In sum, switching to a Web browser as the means to read documentation
>> is a regression.
> Except to pretty much the entire universe of new developers we need to
> recruit.

The hurdle there is Elisp, not Texinfo.

David Kastrup

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