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

From: Phillip Lord
Subject: Re: On being web-friendly and why info must die
Date: Mon, 08 Dec 2014 12:33:38 +0000
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.3 (gnu/linux)

Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden> writes:

>> Date: Fri, 5 Dec 2014 14:36:43 -0500
>> From: "Eric S. Raymond" <address@hidden>
>> Cc: RĂ¼diger Sonderfeld <address@hidden>,
>>      address@hidden
>> > But a lot of this is cosmetic.  We could improve Texinfo to look much
>> > better probably (and that would positively affect a lot of existing GNU
>> > projects).
>> But it would still be Texinfo, still be an essentially pointless
>> barrier to learning how to contribute.
> Nonsense.  What evidence do you have to back that up?

I think it is intrinsically hard to get evidence for why people do NOT
do something. The best I can do is given personal experience.

I did try and learn texinfo once, but stopped. I could never understand
why it had all the menu stuff in it. Running occur gives me this...

4 matches for "List Processing" in buffer: emacs-lisp-intro.texi
    238:* List Processing::             What is Lisp?
    277:List Processing
    998:@node List Processing
    999:@chapter List Processing

Can it really be the case that the same text appears four times? If I
use latex, I just do "\tableofcontents". Or asciidoc. Texinfo seems to
totally conflate document structure and navigation. I just want to
maintain one of these. Texinfo seems to have all the complexity of latex
with less of the advantages. This is how it seemed to be 15 years ago
when I last looked at texinfo, although 15 years ago, I couldn't see an

I have used asciidoc. I learned it for a trivial reason -- it has a nice
blogposting XML-RPC tool associated with it. I've used it for other
things since; I write my lecture slides with it. I also contributed some
code to it (I added some of the support for doing slides IIRC). I also
use org (for TODO notes). And LaTeX. And markdown.

Everything that has been said about the indexing in info is entirely
true. Like everyone else, I navigate extensively with indexing;
although, perhaps this is partly because info doesn't do inline
hyperlinks. Imagine:

    "At any time, one window is the "selected window". On a graphical
    display, the selected window shows a more prominent cursor (usually
    solid and blinking)


    "At any time, one window (see Windows) is the "selected window" (see
    selected-window). On a graphical display (see Graphical Display),
    the selected window (see selected-window) shows a more prominent
    cursor (set Cursor) (usually solid and blinking (see set-cursor-color)"

Unreadable right? Now, if info used wiki style hyperlinks, maybe I would
never use the index explicitly. Or more rarely.

As it stands, though, if I were starting a new project, I cannot see
why I would start off with texinfo. I can't see what it's key feature

Does this make it worth changing from? That's a much harder question.


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