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From: Søren Hauberg
Subject: Documentation
Date: Sun, 10 Jul 2005 23:28:15 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla Thunderbird 1.0.2 (X11/20050404)

A thing that's always been bugging me, is that I can't add a new info file for the functions give people. That means all my documentation goes into the "help function_name" part of each function, which doesn't work very well when your documentation is long.

I've been thinking a bit about this today, since I think packages should be able to provide detailed documentation. So I suggest the following:

Extra documentation (in info, html, docbook, whatever) for functions in directory "DIR" into "DIR/doc/doc.FORMAT", where "FORMAT" is "info", "html", or whatever format the documentation uses.

For functions supplied with Octave the "DIR/doc/doc.info" could be a symlink to the info file currently being shipped with Octave.

This is not a perfect solution, since if the user is reading documentation for a 3rd party package, she will not be able to go directly to documentation for other packages or for the functions supplied with Octave (I'm assuming you can only open one .info at a time)

On the other hand, then this would be better than the current situation, and it would allow Octave to support different kinds of formats. (As you might be able to tell, I'm not that fond of the info format, as it isn't very good at displaying math).

This change should be fairly easy to implement, but should it be implemented?


P.S. This is a little bit related, so I'll mention it here. I wanted to see how good html documentation could be auto-generated from the current documentation. I've put my first results online at http://hauberg.org/octavedoc/audio/doc.html
It's far from parfect, but I haven't spend much time looking at it.

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