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Re: the defaults for `info`

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: the defaults for `info`
Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2007 13:56:10 +0300

> Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2007 00:01:50 +0200
> From: Benno Schulenberg <address@hidden>
> Cc: Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden>, address@hidden
> Well, 'man man' gives me the man page of `man` the program, but 
> 'info info' does not give me the Info document about `info` the 
> program.  Sure, 'info info-stnd' would give me that, but who is 
> ever going to guess that?

You shouldn't need to guess.

> Not even 'man info' mentions this.

But "info info" does.

> And no one is going to read 'info info' until they find the
> reference to info-stnd in "Advanced Info Commands".

I don't know about "nobody".  I think it's reasonable to have the
reference to info-stnd after explaining the basic commands and
features of the Info system.  Of course, if someone is in a hurry,
they might not be patient enough to get there, but impatient people in
a hurry cannot be helped with documentation anyway, in my experience.

Impatient people need a GUI Info reader that has more intuitive UI and
uses mouse and menus instead of complicated key bindings that make the
learning curve steeper because the standalone reader must rely only on
features available on a text terminal.  Unfortunately, no one wrote a
decent GUI Info reader outside Emacs.

> What most people want from the 'info info' document is a simple list
> of the most common commands, something like what <H> gives in
> `less`, but simpler.

That's `H'.

> (<H> in `info` is far too complex

What is complex about it?  How would you suggest to make it simpler?

> it uses only half of the screen, 
> and when you press <Q> it quits the whole Info reader instead of 
> just the help, even when --vi-keys is in effect.)

The way to quit Help is spelled out on the first line of the Help

> > Did you try the --vi-keys option?  If not, please try, I think
> > you will like it.
> It's hard to tell, as there is no simple, short list that shows how 
> --vi-keys changes the bindings

If you are familiar with Less or vi, you should already know.  And `H'
shows the key bindings selected by --vi-keys.

> a list with just three columns: action, default key, vi-like key.

Wouldn't this make the list even more complex, by cluttering it with
bindings half of which is not interesting to the user?

> Also, --vi-keys does not switch cursor-movement-scrolls on; it
> should.

That's because Less and other pagers behave like that.  `j' moves one
line forward, `k' one line backward.

Btw, why would you need to move cursor inside a page? `man' doesn't
let you do that, either.  If you want to move to menu items or
cross-references, I think TAB and BackTAB are a much better way.

> And how is one supposed to select a menu item when --vi-keys is in
> effect?

`Alt-g' (or maybe `ESC g', if `Alt-g' doesn't work for you).

> The Enter key then simply scrolls down one line; > this is making
> `info` harder to use, not easier.

People who wanted the --vi-keys option explicitly requested that RET
works like it does in `more' and Less.  It's hard to satisfy
everybody, but you have the infokey utility that you can use to rebind
the keys as you wish.  Read all about it in the "Custom Key Bindings"
section of the info-stnd manual.

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