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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: Fri, 12 Dec 2014 13:36:38 +0000
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.3 (gnu/linux)

Lennart Borgman <address@hidden> writes:
>> I don't think it is a tough job. If the index data is in the source
>> format, and can be dumped in XML, then the JavaScript (or the lisp with
>> which to pimp up EWW) is really very simple.
>> Phil
> You may be right. It depends on what you want to do. Perhaps you have some
> code to clarify what you mean?

So, consider slidy:


This implements next and previous buttons like info. At the bottom, you
should see a "contents?" button which gives you a table of contents. The
table of contents that you see is implemented in about 50 lines of
Javascript (including action handlers which always take up lots of
space). In this case the TOC is generated from the H1 tags in the
underlying HTML.

An index is, essentially, similar to a table of contents although more
complex. Index items could be added to an HTML presentation either as
div tags, which could be parsed for as slidy uses H1. Or, alternatively,
they could be placed in a XML file (index item to anchor) which would
save parsing the entire HTML file. On top of that, I would add a GUI --
so "i" would pop up an index with type ahead, so you could see what you
are searching through; there are, of course, quite a few type ahead
libraries available for HTML.

Of course, you might want to do more complex things; an "other pages
that point here" might be useful to give bidirectional links. A
set of categories pages to give richer context. A hover over tooltip
giving glossary information (might be quite useful given that many
users will misunderstand what the word "window" means in emacs space).

But at heart, I don't see indexes as a show stopper. It's probably
something that could have been added to texinfo HTML output years ago.

Note that when I say "javascript" where, the all the same things would
be possible in lisp. It has quite a few type ahead completion libraries
too, I believe...


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