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Re: @math and @findex trouble

From: Robert J. Chassell
Subject: Re: @math and @findex trouble
Date: Thu, 16 Jan 2003 16:14:14 +0000 (UTC)

   I am using as well

   % makeinfo --version
   makeinfo (GNU texinfo) 4.3


   % texi2dvi --version
   texi2dvi (GNU Texinfo 4.3) 1.10


   But writing a small file like

   \input texinfo @c -*-texinfo-*-
   @c %**start of header
   @math{b_l \ldots b_h}

That is an invalid Texinfo file.  I copied that text to `foo.texi';
here are the results:

     $ makeinfo --force --fill-column=70 --no-split --paragraph-indent=0     
--verbose foo.texi
    makeinfo (GNU texinfo) 4.3
    Making info file `' from `foo.texi'.
    foo.texi:115: Expected `
    @end tex'.

    $ texi2dvi foo.texi
    This is TeX, Version 3.14159 (Web2C 7.3.7)
    (/u/texinfo/foo.texi (./texinfo.tex Loading texinfo [version 2001-06-20.16]:
    Basics, pdf, fonts, page headings, tables, conditionals, indexing, 
    toc, environments, defuns, macros, cross references,
    (/usr/share/texmf/tex/plain/dvips/epsf.tex) localization,
    and turning on texinfo input format.) [1] [2] [3] [4]
    Runaway definition?
    #1#2->\dimen 2=\leftskip \advance \dimen 2 by -\defbodyindent \noindent 
    ! Forbidden control sequence found while scanning definition of \defname.
    <inserted text> 
    <to be read again> 
    l.114 @bye

    ? x

However, when I incorporated  

   @math{b_l \ldots b_h}

into a valid Texinfo file, both makeinfo and texi2dvi ran without
error and the output is exactly as expected and documented to occur,

    b_l \ldots b_h

in Info and


in DVI.

(Moreover, for the \nabla, `texi2dvi' inserts an upside down delta in
the DVI file and `makeinfo' inserts the plain text, `\nabla' in the
Info file, also as expected and documented.)

Perhaps, it would be nice to enable Info to toggle between a version
that can be used comfortably by people who are `situationally blind'
-- such as those driving a car -- or permanently blind, and a version
that shows fancy typesetting to people with good computer resources
and available, good eyes.  W3M mode does this.  But at the moment,
Info does not.

However, I think there is a big danger in providing such support for

 * Authors often use provided features, especially features that
   provide pictures.  Indeed, this is something you would expect and
   generally welcome!  The features are designed to be used!

But what if a Texinfo writer fails to describe a picture in a thousand
words, in addition to displaying the picture for those who can it?

Then the Texinfo author has just failed a part of his readership!

Please remember, when you write a Texinfo file, you should be writing
for the following readers:

      * the blind person, whether permanently or situationally blind,
        who is listening to your work using Emacspeak

      * the person reading your document on a Web site, who has a fast
        Internet connection

      * the person reading your document on a Web site who has a slow
        Internet connection to your Web site and who is paying by the
        downloaded byte

      * the person reading your document efficiently, navigating
        around quickly

      * the person reading your document on paper that has been
        printed by a high resolution printer

      * the person working on a slow machine or over a slow
        connection, who is reading your work, which is coming to him
        or her at less than 300 baud.  (And before those of you who
        are fortunate say that slowness is obsolete and never occurs
        nowadays, please note that that in my experience, slow
        connections still occur, even though most of the time, I have
        a 40kb/s telephone connection.)

    Robert J. Chassell                         Rattlesnake Enterprises                  GnuPG Key ID: 004B4AC8                                     address@hidden

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