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

From: Jonathan Leech-Pepin
Subject: Re: On being web-friendly and why info must die
Date: Sat, 6 Dec 2014 21:33:44 -0500

Note: I'm only chiming in with regards to a few limitations of the org->texinfo
export process.  I wrote the exporter as a way to better understand the new
exporter and came across a few syntax limitations when trying to account
for texinfo syntax.

On 6 December 2014 at 11:43, Rasmus <address@hidden> wrote:


As pointed out earlier, Thomas S. Dye has converted the Org-manual to Org.
It's out of date, but may still be illustrative.


Org only has a single sort of link specification "[[link][description]]" where link
can be formatted in multiple ways to provide a method to retrieve the correct
destination.  This lead to a very limited subset of the @ref/@xref link types
(which in turn requires the author to assume the burden of ensuring any "see"
contexts. I made this decision with the assumption that the ox-texinfo exporter
would be used solely for final export to info format, while other ox- backends
could be used for HTML, plain text, etc.

Org also does not have any concept of indexes.  Thomas S. Dye took one path
(after discussion of this issue with me while I was working on the exporter) and
defined macros for each texinfo index type.  An alternate path would be to define
a link type that behaved similarly (replaced itself on export with an @index
command.  Neither is an ideal solution, the macro solution is probably the easier
to work with, however implementing indexes in Org would require adding them to
the syntax and providing a method to parse them when exporting to other formats
(even if only ignoring them).

> I could consider Org mode as a way of formatting manuals if I saw
> documentation presenting Org mode _as_ a way to format manuals.
> However, it would still have two big drawbacks as a candidate for GNU
> documentation.
> * It is a program.  What we need is a format.

This claim is simply wrong.

          (info "(org) Org syntax")

If org were to be considered as a source of texinfo/info, determining a
possible syntax for indexes would likely be necessary, but once that
was done, the only real difference would be the lack of the multiple methods
of defining cross references, yet if the only use was to output to info (leaving
other formats to the org export process [html, ascii]) then this lack could be
worked around by ensuring the correct context.


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