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Re: documentation types -- use common sense


I hate to see to much dogmatism around Debian.  We need to use common
sense.  Let's not use policy as the only guiding principle.

On Fri, Feb 17, 2006 at 07:34:14AM +0200, Lars Wirzenius wrote:
> pe, 2006-02-17 kello 01:10 +0100, Javier Fernández-Sanguino Peña
> kirjoitti:
> > Docbook/XML or SGML conversion to HTML is easy. Proper PS / PDF
> > generation is not that easy (depends on toolchain and local
> > configuration) and that's what your average user typically asks for
> > when handling large documents (manny prefer printing bulky documents
> > than reading them offline or online).

I think that, when policy was written, it was aiming mostly typical
HOWTO documents.  The HTML  was preferred over plain text or groff since
there were good deal of reader programs for different situation.  Screen
/ console width adjustment was the real advantage.

> As a hypothesis, I propose that many people prefer to print PS/PDF files
> rather than reading them from the screen because PS/PDF tend to be
> unpleasant to read from the screen. It doesn't, for example, reformat
> itself to the display/window/font size combination. HTML does that
> better.

Yes.  Adjusting paper size/ font size is generation time parameters for 
PS/PDF.  You can still expand page to larger page or print multiple page
in a paper with few tricks for PS/PDF :-)

> Anyway, I'm not opposed to providing a PDF version in a package, but I
> really, really hope we're not going to switch away from HTML as the
> primary format.

I fully agree with you here.

For most descriptive less than few page documents, I do not think it is
worth bothering to create PDF/PS files unless you have fancy
mathematical formula etc. in it.

Considering headache of tool chain related FTBFS issues, I say it is not
worth generating PS/PDF files./  I can say this loud since I do create
them and know it quite well by experience.

Of course, if anyone provide length manual, I think it is nice to have
them in A4/letter compatible printable format.


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