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[help-texinfo] Re: Dividing a texinfo document into parts?

From: Brooks Moses
Subject: [help-texinfo] Re: Dividing a texinfo document into parts?
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2006 13:13:32 -0800
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20061025)

Hi, Karl!

Karl Berry wrote:
    that doesn't actually change anything.  What am I missing?

I'm not sure.  The font stuff is a horrible kludge anyway.
If you found a way that works, be happy :).

Okay. I'll see if using the "right" font commands works if I include it in texinfo.tex, but I'll leave it the way I've got it if not.

However, there are problems with setting it up as a "normal" sectioning
level that creates a node, with general text following, as in:

  @node My first part
  @part My first part

  My first part is to the left.
  * Chap::
  @end menu

  @node Chap
  @chapter Chap

The main problem is that it is unlike all the other sectioning levels in
that it may or not be present.  makeinfo has a lot of junk that tries to
handle these things, notably the implicit pointer creation features.
That's not something I'd really want to tackle just now.

Indeed. And things become additionally complicated in the case where some chapters are in parts and some aren't -- for instance, the GNU Fortran manual has three parts for the main reference material, and then the GPL and GFDL as chapters after that, which should not be included in the third part.

If we did want to handle things on the makeinfo side (which I personally don't see a need to do right now, other than manually writing an unlinked "Part I: ..." and so forth in the top-level menu), it might work better just to handle the parts as unnumbered chapters for node/reference purposes.

As far as TeX goes, I feel rather more confident that we can tweak it to
do that right thing without major surgery.

Yup. Currently, in the PDF outline (which is the other use of nodes), I have things working so that the part pages are linked at the chapter level. This does mean that the hierarchy is wrong, and I suspect that can be fixed, but for now it's good enough.

The big question is whether just a one-line @part is sufficient, or if
the full @partpage is worth dealing with.

Come to think, I guess any extraneous material desired could be added as
@tex or @iftex before the following @node/@chapter.  That makes me think
the one-line @part is enough.  It'll be confusing that it isn't
associated with nodes, but such is life.

Interestingly, we seem to have slightly switched sides on this -- I'm now leaning towards the @partpage approach. My reasoning is that the extra matter on the title page goes between a couple of rules, and it would be nice to do that with the part page as well (particularly if it's inline). But the following @iftex-block idea can't automatically do a rule below the text.

It would be trivial to write an @part macro that calls @partpage, though, allowing for both options.

Anyhow, I'll work on this a bit more in the next few days, and see what I can come up with.

- Brooks

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