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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 15:05:15 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Lennart Borgman <address@hidden> writes:

> On Dec 12, 2014 10:57 AM, "David Kastrup" <address@hidden> wrote:
>> > 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
>> functionality.
> No. The point is to try to give new users something they are familiar
> with.

At the cost of giving old users something that is less useful to a
degree that isn't funny.  Because what new users are "familiar with" is
a crutch created to substitute for the case where nobody bothered
_either_ preparing a useful index, _or_ a useful keyboard interface to

> It must of course also be good.

Either it is something new users are familiar with or it is good even in
relation to existing Info mode.  You can't have both.

Which is sort of sad seeing how old Info mode is.  Obviously
automatically prepared indices have a hard time competing with humans
(and indeed the major search engines _do_ put humans in the loop).  But
that's not really all that much of an excuse for browsers/HTML not
offering useful keyboard interfaces and mechanisms into searching and

David Kastrup

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