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Re: Re^2: Documentation Policy



[ Please don't Cc: public replies to me. ]

I was going to stay away from this discussion, but I seem to
be unable to. It makes me too angry.

Emilio Lopes:
> The Info format is a lot better, tecnically, than HTML.

Info is _NOT_ better than HTML, technically or any other way.
Info is impossible to reformat to another line width. You
can't get nice hardcopy. You can't have images. You can't link
to random other documents. You can't get Info over the net,
it needs to be read from a disk file. You can't distinguish
code examples and normal text reliably in Info. You can't
save examples (and just the examples) easily from the browsers
(because the browsers don't know what is part of the example).

As a file format, Info is a dead-end and it is going to go away
and it will be replaced by HTML. It might take a few years,
but the trend is clear. And note that I'm not talking about
Texinfo. Texinfo is good. Info is bad.

I'm also not talking about browsers.  Info browsers support
a little bit of searching and some navigation better than
HTML browsers. Both are fixable.  Searching requires using a
(local) search engine, meaning more overhead, but giving much
more flexibility. Navigation only requires that documents and
browsers support the HTML specification that has already existed
for years.

If you like the Info browsers over the HTML browsers, use them.
No one's stopping you. But do stop spreading FUD about HTML.

> Just because a lot of people prefer HTML, does not mean it's better.
> So, we have to choose: the better or the most popular.

_THE_ most important point is that we _DO_ _NOT_ _HAVE_ _TO_
_CHOOSE_!  This is the most infuriating stupidity of the whole
damn non-discussion: there is absolutely no reason not to
support both Info and HTML. Please, everyone stop suggesting
that. As long as people want Info, we can provide it. It's no
trouble. If you prefer Info, go right ahead and use it. One day,
in about three decades or so, when even the GNU project abandons
Info and switches to HTML, we can _still_ go on and provide Info
files for those who want it.

It doesn't even matter a rat's ass whether packages contain
Info or HTML by default; we've got the tools to handle the
choices (even dselect is good enough, if you're careful with
your fingers).

Both HTML and Info are here to stay. There's no point in
continuing the discussion. Please someone just make a
random decision of which formats go into which packages.

-- 
Please read <http://www.iki.fi/liw/mail-to-lasu.html> before mailing me.
Please don't Cc: me when replying to my message on a mailing list.


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