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## Re: [Help-gsl] New documentation format

 From: Patrick Alken Subject: Re: [Help-gsl] New documentation format Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2017 12:23:38 -0600 User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:45.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/45.8.0

Hello Mohammad,


Thank you for the links - it is impressive what you've accomplished with texinfo for your manual. I decided on sphinx for a few reasons:


1. Out of the box support for equations and images in HTML - I like what you've done with texinfo on this front but still texinfo doesn't natively support this without your modifications. 2. Modern PDF output - sphinx generates a linkable TOC and in-document links which makes it easy to navigate the PDF output - texinfo doesn't put any links in the PDF documents 3. The native source format for sphinx is much simpler and easier to read than texinfo 4. Sphinx is currently being actively developed - I don't think texinfo currently is


Also to answer your question, sphinx is able to produce info output, so we will be providing info files with GSL - this is something many users need so we made sure sphinx could do this before switching.

Patrick

On 04/24/2017 11:09 AM, Mohammad Akhlaghi wrote:

Dear Patrick,


This is Mohammad Akhlaghi (maintainer of GNU Astronomy Utilities). We heavily rely on GSL in Gnuastro and I use it alot personally also. So I wanted to thank you for all the great work on this important package.


I just wanted to see if future versions of GSL will also ship with the info documentation (in other words, is it possible to get an info' output from Sphinx and make it installable in the GNU Build style)?


The reason I am asking this is that I do all my development in Emacs and rely mostly on the great info' documentations of the tools I use like GSL, GLIBC and many other programs/libraries (like Make and AWK also). Since info is offline, easily navigatable without having to move your hands to the touchpad or mouse, and can be used in the the non-GUI environment of the virtual console, it is a really attractive option. Also, since it is installed with the program on the system you can always be sure that your info documentation is the same version as the library/program, but for PDF/HTML, you need to check the version every time.


The default HTML output of Texinfo is indeed not very attractive, I agree. Gnuastro's documentation also heavily uses mathematic equations and also comes with a library. To solve the appearence issues with the default HTML output of Texinfo, in Gnuastro, we have created this small shell script:

http://git.savannah.gnu.org/cgit/gnuastro.git/tree/doc/forwebpage


and these Texinfo macros to treat mathematical equations differently on different outputs:

http://git.savannah.gnu.org/cgit/gnuastro.git/tree/doc/formath.texi


A CSS class is also added and we also use MathJax (installed on the GNU servers) for displaying the equations. For example you can see some example pages with equations, figures and library function descrip tions in the links below.


https://www.gnu.org/software/gnuastro/manual/html_node/Warping-basics.html


https://www.gnu.org/software/gnuastro/manual/html_node/Sampling-theorem.html


https://www.gnu.org/software/gnuastro/manual/html_node/World-Coordinate-System.html


If Javascript is enabled, the equations display very nicely and the webpage viewer/user can also get the TeX/MathML source of the equations to use in their own documents for example (by right-clicking on the equations). MathJax is also configured to work with LibreJS.


I understand that a lot of work has probably gone into the conversion to Sphinx, but just wanted point out how useful info can be and some solutions that exist for making better looking HTML webpages with Texinfo to benefit from both (CLI and GUI) worlds. If you would be willing to reconsider Texinfo, I would be happy/honored to help impelement these features.

In any case, thank you very much for all the great work on GSL,
Cheers,

On 04/24/2017 06:31 PM, Patrick Alken wrote:

Hello all,


Sometime ago it was suggested to switch the GSL documentation from the current texinfo format to sphinx, which has superior HTML and PDF rendering. I thought this was a good idea and so I have now converted the GSL documentation over to sphinx, and a beta version is available at:

https://www.gnu.org/software/gsl/doc/html/index.html


I would appreciate if people could take a look at make any suggestions or let me know if you spot any bugs. Perhaps everyone could read through their favorite chapter and make sure the formulas and figures all look ok.

Thanks,

Patrick








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