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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: Thu, 11 Dec 2014 17:36:51 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Lennart Borgman <address@hidden> writes:

> On Thu, Dec 11, 2014 at 5:12 PM, David Kastrup <address@hidden> wrote:
>> Lennart Borgman <address@hidden> writes:
>>>> Info browsers make it easy to browse manuals, search for index terms,
>>>> follow links, including to other manuals.  A Web browser cannot achieve
>>>> that because a Web browser is not designed for that.
>>> Not by itself, but with a good search engine it could.
>> Not really.  Try an incremental full text search through the entire Info
>> file.  Try jumping through the references for some index term.
>> The best search engine does not give you a user interface for that kind
>> of stuff.
> You have to work a bit differently, but that does not mean it is not
> just as useful.

Shrug.  The HTML version of the LilyPond manual has a search box leading
to a search engine.  Results and usage are so far inferior to using
Emacs' info reader that it isn't funny.

> My point is maybe a bit unclear. It matters a lot what search engine
> you have and how you feed it with information. In the small project I
> linked to I have had rather minimal success with Google CSE. So I
> switched to OpenSearchServer and there I can do a lot of things I just
> could imagine before. (This is just a small free time project, but
> still a bit important, perhaps.)

So instead of a working fast local versatile solution, we get some
handwaving promise that some search engines out of our control might do
something different that might be just as good if we really squint in
the right way.

I don't buy that.  It will have its best case scenario for stuff not
actually written/maintained in Texinfo (or something providing similar
information amounts) and consequently completely missing any useful
index.  With that starting point, a search engine is better than
nothing.  Against a reasonably well-maintained manual index, however: no

David Kastrup

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