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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: Thu, 11 Dec 2014 14:44:56 +0000
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.3 (gnu/linux)

David Kastrup <address@hidden> writes:
>> At the risk of repeating a point that has been made before, yes, of
>> course it is the case that for the majority of people who are actively
>> using texinfo to produce documentation for Emacs, texinfo is not a
>> problem.
>> The incremental approach, however, of first enabling the use of org so
>> that some of the documentation could be written using it and then
>> transforming this to texinfo (to work with the rest of the tool chain)
>> would be interesting. It would, for example, allow you to see whether
>> org would be a problem for you in a real environment.
> The main reason brought forward for abandoning Texinfo appears that it
> has become slower.  So we convert instead to a system that is even
> slower in order to indirectly produce Texinfo which we will then
> _additionally_ convert to Info?

The main reason *that you accept* for moving from texinfo yes. There are
other reasons also. Yes, it would be slower.

>> If it works, then the eventual aim could be to throw out texinfo and
>> replace it with org by simple virtual of writing a org->info exported
>> (direct rather than through texinfo).
> Would still be slower than now, correct?

It's not possible to tell, since direct org->info does not exist. I
suspect perl text hacking is quicker than emacs lisp hacking, but
texinfo and org are different input formats.

Having said that, if viewing the documentation is org-mode is enough to
be happy that it is correct, and this becomes a batch process then the
speed becomes less relevant.

>> Or removing info and using org->eww usable HTML for in Emacs
>> browsing.
> Except that eww is a very basic browser, and not even the non-basic
> browsers for HTML are even remotely comparable in performance and
> usability to Emacs' Info browser.  And the HTML format cannot support
> full-document search from a single-page display on principle.

This has also been discussed at length, of course. Personally, I am
dubious about the value of having two hypertext browsers integrated into
Emacs. I agree that info indexing and bookstyle (next, back) browsing is
better than an arbitrary browser. But if the document structure were
exported to XML, then this support could be added to EWW. If you wanted,
the same trick and some javascript work give the same navigation
capabilities as info to any webpage.

>> Or, supplementing org with a "kiosk" mode, and just using the org
>> source directly as a viewing format.
>> If it doesn't work, then you will have been right all along.
> So far, I don't see anything that would ultimately address the perceived
> problems.

No, I realise that.

>> It's the reverse Yoda approach: "try or try not: there is no do".
> Yes, I understood that this is all about hipsterisms.  But hip does not
> get the work done or redone.

I am saddened that my humour witticisms have not lightened your day. I
will try and do harder. A discussion about text formats for manual
pages is not natural territory for gags.


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