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Re: Info sucks?

On Mon, Sep 14, 1998 at 01:42:21PM -0400, Stephen J. Carpenter wrote:

> but seriously I think he meant more on the idea of 'man -k ' where
> you can search ALL the pages to find what one you want.
> Personally I don't use info...I don't like it. If it wasn't for dwww
> I would NEVER read any info docs. Course its like anything...
> "my <prefered tool> can beat up your <prefered tool>"

Info reader (the "info" command) is much worse than the info standard
itself.  Emacs probably makes it more useful, but large portions of the
world don't like emacs.  (IIRC, Linus himself refuses to use it.)

The actual documentation standard that we use doesn't matter nearly so much
as the user interface we put on it... that's why dwww is so nice.  HTML docs
are good too, primarily because there are several good browsers around. 
Popular in commercial applications are PDF files, but Acrobat reader
_really_ sucks.

But a really great documentation system has to have all of these things:

	- compressed files, to save space
	- small, fast, low-memory browser (ie. not netscape or emacs)
	- hyperlinks
	- graphics, colours, and fonts
	- a _full_ keyword index and good keyword searches
	- table of contents, preferably in a separate frame
	- nice print-out formatting

"man" doesn't have hyperlinks; "info" doesn't seem to have graphics; current
html implementations don't have proper keyword searches, content frames, or

In summary, there _is_ no good documentation format/reader for Unix yet. 
HTML and SGML are the closest, because at least they do graphics and
hyperlinks.  With some effort, they could have nice tables of contents,
indices, and full-text searches.

Have fun,


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