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Re: Question about the return value of 'local'

From: Stefano Lattarini
Subject: Re: Question about the return value of 'local'
Date: Fri, 14 Dec 2012 20:58:32 +0100

On 12/14/2012 06:07 PM, Bill Gradwohl wrote:
> I'm not trying to start a war, but ...
> Has anyone entertained the idea of getting rid of the man pages and the
> info system?  Those are relics of the tty era.
Don't make the error of confusing the texinfo system with just the
info format.  I, for one, *never* read pages in the info format.
However, I never had any problem reading the official documentation
of GNU packages -- I just read the HTML version that is generated by
exactly the same texinfo sources used to generate the info pages (as
well as the PDF manuals for printing are).

> [SNIP]

> A WIKI set up could allow people to augment the docs with some authority
> then editing the content to keep it up to some standard. Greg's site is
> excellent, as are several others, and that's the issue. There is no one
> authoritative place to go to get the OFFICIAL docs in a modern form.
What's wrong with <http://www.gnu.org/software/bash/manual/bashref.html>?
Or, if you want a local version, just install the 'bash-doc' package on
Debian (or the equivalent package that surely comes with other distros).

> Who wants to learn how to write and submit man or info docs when the future
> is clearly html, especially when neither man nor info has the rendering
> capability html has?
Nobody writes info directly; one writes Texinfo, and that can be
automatically translated to info, html, PDF (and PostScript and
DVI too, not that it matters today).  And I must say that I find the
HTML generated from texinfo sources of high quality (nor perfect,
granted, but definitely good enough).  Writing something directly
in HTML seems absurd today, IMHO.  We want higher-level languages,
and Texinfo is an excellent example of such a language, at least
for most technical manuals.

> If the Linux community as a whole missed one technical release cycle to
> instead concentrate on properly documenting what already exists, the effort
> would pay off in spades for all future releases.
I don't see how HTML-only documentation would be an improvement; it
would be a huge step back, actually.


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