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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: Fri, 12 Dec 2014 10:56:54 +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 6:20 PM, David Kastrup <address@hidden> wrote:
>> You were proposing to replace the Info search possibilities with a
>> search engine.  So it's up to you to explain what you mean.
>> As for the index not disappearing: it's not accessible from arbitrary
>> nodes since it is not even loaded into the browser unless you load the
>> "one big page HTML" and then _all_ navigation becomes cumbersome,
>> including but not limited to the index.
> So that was the argument. OK. ;-)
> Yes, without a search engine you can't search the html pages. (Or, you
> could build an index in JavaScript, but that is a very tough job if
> you want to do something useful.)
> Of course you have to search the docs divided into several pages if a
> search engine should be of any use. Otherwise you will just get the
> same hit all the time. ;-)
> OpenSearchServer (based on Apache Lucene) is very flexible. Maybe you
> can't get exactly the incremental search that Info uses now, but you
> can get a list of suggestions for every character you type. You can
> customize that list.
> And Info does not have a search capability that is close to the usual
> web search (implicit) AND operator.
> But there is more you can use, like searching in fields (if the
> documents are structured with some fields, of course).

So the argument is that a huge flexible heap of complex technology
should make users just as happy as straightforward simple working

Make no mistake: this kind of "it does not do what you want, but many
other potentially useful things" argument is very common in software
engineering.  It's sort of the sales point of Texinfo 5 according to the
criticism voiced against it here.  So the solution is to go Texinfo 5
squared?  I don't buy it.

David Kastrup

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