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Re: @vskip ...

From: Jean-Christophe Helary
Subject: Re: @vskip ...
Date: Tue, 14 Jan 2020 10:37:31 +0900


Thank you very much for the comments.

So many things to learn ! :)

> The whole filll usage in Texinfo is a kludge that has been there since
> day one, solely for purposes of the copyright page, where it's
> conventional for the material to be typeset at the bottom. 10 minutes of
> thought to handle that convention differently in Texinfo input back in
> 1985 and it would never have been needed.

What would be a better solution ?

> What could make sense: since the title page is already specified with
> @titlepage...@end titlepage, a new command like @titlepagereverse could
> be defined, which would do both the
> @page
> @vskip 0pt plus 1filll
> and then @vskip would not be needed or wanted anywhere. Whether doing
> this or something similar is worth bothering at this point (since @vskip
> would have to stay defined forever since essentially all existing
> Texinfo documents use it), is up to Gavin.

Yes, but describing it as obsolete and replaced by the construct you propose 
could be a solution. Or is texinfo in "maintenance mode" already ?

>    @deffn Command vfilll
>    vskip Opt plus 1filll
>    @end deffn
> That is documenting a command named "vfilll" (like one might document a
> C function in a manual). It has nothing to do with defining a new
> Texinfo command.

Ooops :) I see.

> For that you need @macro, at the document level. In
> texinfo.tex, the standard TeX syntax can be used:
> \def\vfilll{\vskip 0pt plus1filll\relax}

Excellent ! Thank you !

>    3) Is it OK to add a reference to that part of the TeXbook in the
>       Texinfo manual so that users understand why this thing exists ?
> The TeXbook is, sadly, nonfree documentation, so it's not ideal to refer
> to it. I don't know that it's totally forbidden, but in this case, there
> are at least two other free books that also describe it (and everything
> else in primitive+plain TeX: TeX by Topic and TeX for the Impatient.

Thank you for the references. They seem to be less fun to read than Knuth's but 
I guess for reference they are enough. Knuth is really funny. Having a fun and 
complete reference makes learning easy.

> However, I admit I don't see the need for such a reference. The Texinfo
> manual already explains everything that Texinfo authors need to know
> about it, seems to me.

Well, my idea anything that resorts to "incantations" is definitely not 
explained enough :)

Jean-Christophe Helary
----------------------------------------------- @brandelune

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