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Re: Convert README.org to plain text README while installing package

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: Convert README.org to plain text README while installing package
Date: Sat, 4 Jun 2022 17:27:16 +0000

Hello, Stefan.

On Sat, Jun 04, 2022 at 18:09:45 +0200, Stefan Kangas wrote:
> Alan Mackenzie <acm@muc.de> writes:

> > No, no, no, no!  Org mode is a highly complicated, obscure mode which
> > is NOT part of core Emacs, and mustn't become so.

> AFAICT, Org-mode has been distributed with Emacs for more than five
> major releases by now (approx. 15 years).

That's a strawman.  Org mode is not part of the Emacs core.  It's not
something in the part of Emacs inevitably used by any normal proficient
user.  Neither is Gnus.  Neither is CC Mode, for that matter.  By
contrast *Help*, Info, font-lock, the package manager, a lot of other
things, and a vast selection of commands bound to keys in the global key
map, are the core.

> > Surely the solution has got to be to encourage package authors to
> > write plain text (or .texi) documentation, by pointing out the
> > difficulties the non-standard .org format creates.

> In the Emacs community, Org-mode is ubiquitous.

Only in the sense that it's distributed with each Emacs release.

> I think we should actively encourage using it for most types of
> documentation, certainly for README type files.

I disagree entirely with you.  Org mode is highly complicated, obscure
(I've never managed to get a feel for what it does), and difficult to
learn (I've never managed it).  A text file is far easier to read for
those not familiar with org.  We're talking about READMEs here.  They're
typically 20 to 100 lines long.  A text file is ideal for these.

> Texinfo has its strengths of course, but it is unfortunately perceived
> as arcane and hard to use by many.

It's moderately easy to use, somewhat difficult to learn.

> And Org-mode can be converted to be read in 'M-x info'.

You mean it _has_ to be converted to be read?

Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).

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