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Re: cross manual references in html manuals

From: Dumas Patrice
Subject: Re: cross manual references in html manuals
Date: Tue, 20 May 2003 12:53:13 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.4i

> Passing over the question of @ commands in node names, which I already
> talked about, here are a few more thoughts:
>     The manual name should only contain the following characters:
>     [A-Za-z0-9-_/], / having a special meaning.
> I don't think it's a critical point, but I don't think we actually need
> to restrict manual names, at least not as far as html goes, since we can
> easily escape any special characters in html.  (Info is another story,

In that case how these characters are escaped should be stated formally

> but that's a whole different problem.)  In practice, I don't know of any
> public manuals that use any "bizarre" characters in the @setfilename.

But a formal statement is needed if we want that practice to persist.

>     and '.' is left as is. I think '.' should also be considered 
>     special, and also the file names should not be related to html, 
> Sorry, I don't understand either of these points.  How is . special?
> How are the file names related to html?

. is special in files names, as it is traditionnally used to separate the
file name from the extension.
The other point is irrelevant if there are no @ commands in the node names.

> And, I think this is achievable, because Eli implemented it for
> makeinfo.  We just generate an anchor for each node, as in (putting the
> node name as the text of the anchor here is not functional, but anyway
> ...):
> Node:&nbsp;<a name="$foo">$foo</a>,
> ...
> Node:&nbsp;<a name="%25foo">%foo</a>,
> Then the references to the two nodes become -foo.html#$foo and
> -foo.html#%25foo, respectively.  Do you see a problem with this?

Yes, it cannot be valid xhtml. In xhtml, only [A-Za-z0-9-_] are 
acceptable as text for the name= or id= attributes.
> It's somewhat annoying since the common case of no conflicts still has
> to be handled the same way (foo.html#foo.html), making the xrefs more
> verbose, but I don't see a way to handle that.

I think it is no problem (if the example above should be in fact
foo.html#foo ).

> Thanks Patrice, it's very nice to see this written out so carefully.


Using 8-bit characters in node names raises another issue, which is 
how to translate these characters in file names ?


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