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Re: On being web-friendly and why info must die

From: Achim Gratz
Subject: Re: On being web-friendly and why info must die
Date: Wed, 17 Dec 2014 18:51:31 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Richard Stallman writes:
>   > So in essence you're saying that the requirement is semantic markup, but
>   > you don't care about the syntax.
> This is an interesting question.
> In the past, semantic markup was absolutely necessary.  For instance,
> @dfn and @emph both generate italic in TeX, but they appear different
> in Info.  This was because Info files don't have fonts.  Distinctions need
> to be made some other way.
> I have been assuming this is still necessary, but maybe it is not.

I'd say that given your goals semantic markup is still necessary.
Visual markup that somehow by convention doubles as semantic markup
isn't a proper solution.  It will work often enough to be attractive in
the beginning and won't work often enough to be annoying in the long

I think we need to make a three-fold distinction between the format that
the documentation should be in (something standardized might be nice),
the presentation of the documentation to the target audience (needs at
least a handful of options) and the various ways to create content in
this format.  As said before, I don't think it is necessary to require
each and every contributor to fully understand the intricacies of
semantic markup if there's an easy (or easier at least) input method
that keeps the markup in the background for most of the editing.  THat
method need not be perfect if any wrong guesses as to what the proper
context is can easily be overridden.

> If HTML-Info can represent these distinctions with fonts, the same
> as in TeX, maybe we don't need semantic markup any more.  Maybe
> the same appearance can be used in all formats on line and on paper.

I would like to eradicate the idea that somehow fonts or colors are
going to be part of the markup or an indispensable part of the output.
Styling by using fonts and colors is a good way to clarify meaning to
many users, but we shouldn't forget about those users who simply can't
use these two as a distinction for whatever reason.

> But how would we represent them on a tty?  They have colors but no fonts.

A braille line has no fonts nor colors.

+<[Q+ Matrix-12 WAVE#46+305 Neuron microQkb Andromeda XTk Blofeld]>+

Samples for the Waldorf Blofeld:

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