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Re: [Gnu-arch-users] Re: "Newbie-ized help"

From: Adrian Irving-Beer
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] Re: "Newbie-ized help"
Date: Thu, 30 Sep 2004 11:13:11 -0400
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.6+20040818i

On Thu, Sep 30, 2004 at 12:41:08PM +0100, Robin Green wrote:

> On Thu, Sep 30, 2004 at 02:36:04AM -0400, James Blackwell wrote:
> > We don't use info, for what should be obvious reasons (for
> > example, info is a dependancy that isn't reasonably expected on
> > all the platforms we run).
> [snip]
> > We don't use html either, for the same obvious reasons. :)
> What platforms (a) don't have a web browser, and (b) are worth
> caring about?

What users (a) don't want to fire up a web browser to get command-line
help, and (b) are not worth supporting?

I believe you have taken the original quote out of context by snipping
the part inbetween:

> > I'm not necessarily against a suite of info/man pages as an
> > addition, but we've got to keep the built in help.

The issue (as I read it) is not HTML as a documentation supplement.
It's of HTML (*or* info, *or* man) as a replacement for useful command-
line help.

But on the topic of HTML as in *info-style* documentation supplement:
Speaking personally, I believe that would be fine.  I already use the
'pinfo' browser for info, which basically simulates Lynx for info
files (since I am not an Emacs type).

Before *I* would go ahead with adding a per-command HTML help system,
though, I'd like to see some effort made to get a de facto centralised
HTML help system, like 'man' and 'info'.  (Probably more like 'info'
given that info is hyperlinked while man is not.)

This means that a simple command, e.g. 'docs tla', would take you to
the HTML documentation index page for that command, much like 'info
make', say.  This seems the most standardised way to deliver useful
per-program HTML docs:  A standard (maybe distro-dependent) place to
put them; a standard way to access them.

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