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Re: Texinfo help, please

From: Phil Holmes
Subject: Re: Texinfo help, please
Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2012 09:23:00 +0100

----- Original Message ----- From: "Graham Percival" <address@hidden>
To: "David Kastrup" <address@hidden>
Cc: <address@hidden>
Sent: Friday, July 13, 2012 12:40 AM
Subject: Re: Texinfo help, please

On Wed, Jul 11, 2012 at 10:45:24PM +0200, David Kastrup wrote:
Graham Percival <address@hidden> writes:

> Hmm.  So there's absolutely no way to get
> ----------- linewidth ------
> from some kind of
> emergency-stretch-tweak
> ----------- linewidth ------
> ?  that's a shame.

If you want a non-stretching break-opportunity before some construct,

Sorry, I should have specified "absolutely no way to get ---
without any mixing of content and layout commands".  I think we
should minimize any layout-specific commands in our docs.

I've spent a few minutes here and there looking at and doing google searches, and I feel a bit
let down.  The answers are consistently "you can manually add a
line-break, you can change the hyphenation with \sloppy, or you
can reword your sentences".  It's the last that really bugs me.

Anyway, my current understanding is that there are three realistic

----------- linewidth ------
from    some     kind     of
----------- linewidth ------

manually insert a @* before every @file{} in the docs which would
produce an overfull hbox, to force a linebreak.
(I reject the option of breaking within a filename)

manually reword any sentence including a @file{} which would
produce an overfull hbox.

Phil's patch currently does #2 and #3.  I am not fond of those
options, since it means that we need to take extra care when
writing or editing docs.  I would rather see #1.

Thoughts, objections?

- Graham

I've just checked and in total I added 4 @* forced linebreak entries - all of them in pure lists of filenames. I believe the output in the NR in all these cases is infinitely better than it was, and considerably better than right-justified - I've effectively left-justified the lists, that's all.

As for how hard doing this would make for future authors. 1) It's unlikely they'll need to do it. I've done it twice in over 800 pages. 2) A simple instruction in the CG to check any change you make, and if you've got non-breaking text consider a line break would also fix it.

As for the re-word - it wasn't perfect before and it's not perfect now. Both express(ed) the intent without problem.

My suggestion - unless there are _real_ problems with my patch (and there aren't) let's start focussing on other shitty bits of documentation now that I've fixed this shitty element of the NR. There's no problem with accepting this patch and then, if anyone finds it a real problem, making changes in the future for example, improving how filenames are handled and deleting the 4 instances of forced line breaks.

Phil Holmes

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