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Re: Docs format

>> From: Matthew Emmett <memmett@sfu.ca>

>> curt@gwis.com (Cowboy) writes:
>> >  While I agree in principal, and acknowledge that the prefered method does
>> >  not fit my preference, I submit that there are cases ( such as a crippled
>> >  system where various word processors will not work ) when ANY meta
>> >  info within a document is a bad thing.
>> >
>> >  One of the strong points of *nix text formatting systems, has been that
>> >  plain text can be formatted any way the reader likes.
>> > 
>> >  Since pure text versions tend to be much smaller than formatted versions,
>> >  may I suggest that both be available ? It's far easier to format plain text
>> >  than it is to UN-format a meta document, particularly when the various
>> >  word processors available will not work for whatever reason.
>> I strongly disagree that it is easier to "format plain text than it is
>> to UN-format a meta document".  Take, for example, perl's perldoc.
>> The documents are "meta-documents", and rendering them to nicely
>> formatted plain-text is dead simple: 
>> $ perldoc -t -f splice

 That may be true of perldoc, but does it also apply to TeX or to Info,
 or HTML, or .....

>> However, if I were presented a plain-text version of the above, and I
>> wanted to format it into another format (man style for example) I'd
>> have to muddle around and insert the appropriate meta-data.
>> I guess what I'm saying is, it is easy (IMHO) to go from meta-data to
>> non meta-data.  If one needs all docs in plain text for when they
>> cripple their system (how often is that going to happen when the hurd
>> matures anyways? :), they can simply render them to text!

 Your point is understood.

 I simply submit that some universal format is better than proprietary
 I understand that the standard is info files, a reader which I've yet to
 get working before a new version come out, or an update to a system,
 which renders the working version broken, and the documents unreadable,
 or with great difficulty at best.

 Based on my years of experience, I stand by plain, ASCII text.
 It's served me well through 15 versions of Win9x, 8 versions of
 Win3.x, I-don't-know-how-many-versions of Linux, NT, and others.
 Through it all, text is the ONLY one that remains fully compatible,
 and un-broken regardless.

 Anyhow, I believe this is off-topic, and already decided.


You will be reincarnated as a toad; and you will be much happier.

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