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Re: Have you all gone crazy? Was: On being web-friendly and why info mus

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Have you all gone crazy? Was: On being web-friendly and why info must die
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 2014 22:15:36 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Drew Adams <address@hidden> writes:

>> The younger crowd expects interactive web pages (e.g. jumping to
>> manual nodes with completion), because they are used to interactive
>> features on other pages (Gmail, facebook, etc.)
> Fine.  And it is not only "the younger crowd" that is used to
> using interactive web pages.

Frankly, that's not really useful since
a) every "interactive web page" is different
b) they work badly with automated fetchers, so you cannot usefully
   aggregate them
c) they tend to require enabling known security problems like Flash

> But for the Emacs and Elisp manuals, in particular, I think that
> one of the goals should be to also steer users to *ask Emacs*
> itself.
> IOW, let users know that within Emacs they have access to the
> Emacs manuals, and that that is really the way to go (for the
> reasons already discussed, in particular, index features).
> Yes, this is perhaps a side point.  But it is a concern I have.
> When a URL sends a user to a manual node on the web, I would
> like to see a feature that points back to the manual in Emacs,
> e.g., a reminder.

We will also want to increase the attractivity of the average HTML
manual rendition so that they are actually linked to and come up in web

> That's OK if it's a habit or they somehow find it easier,
> but they should at least be made aware that they *can* access
> the same information from within Emacs, and that they will
> get more help and learn more that way than via the manuals
> on line.

Well, one problem is that the manuals are really effective for learning
a lot in one learning session.  And that's a good deal for getting
better with using Emacs.  But it doesn't match modern attention spans.
And that's an inherent problem we have with selling Emacs, and it will
continue to cost us "market percentages".

> The best way we can help them in this regard is to let them
> know that Emacs itself offers great help for learning about
> Emacs, and one of the best such aids are the Emacs and Elisp
> manuals - *within Emacs*.
> Having the information in these manuals at your fingertips
> while you use Emacs is an giant plus.  Providing better Web
> use of the manuals is of course a good idea.  But we should
> not neglect inviting users to consult the manuals from Emacs.

Certainly.  But I think that would primarily concern the Emacs-related
manuals, so we should probably see to it that one can get the Texinfo
conversion process and/or our personal manual CSS sheets to make this a
general feature of the Emacs manuals in particular.

David Kastrup

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