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Re: using Texinfo

From: Rob Savoye
Subject: Re: using Texinfo
Date: Tue, 3 Feb 2004 14:53:26 -0700
User-agent: Mutt/

On Wed, Feb 04, 2004 at 08:28:06AM +1100, Ben Elliston wrote:

> Docbook has its place, I feel that Texinfo might be a better choice
> for the following reasons:
>   * packages of the GNU Project use Texinfo by convention;
>   * everyone is familiar with it;

  The Linux Documentation project, as well as GNOME all use DocBook. It's also
integrated into the help systems for both GNOME 1 and 2. Even Cygnus switched
over to DocBook for all new projects, like eCos. Many new GNU/Linux projects
all use DocBook instead of texinfo. Why go backward when we can go forward ?

>     docbook-utils (hell, even *we* had problems);

  That was cause I hadn't generated abny docs in quite a while... :-(
As is, if one installs the "documentation tools" when installing Redhat or
Debian, you get the tools needed to fiddle with DocBook.

>   * we can generate good Info documentation (a MUST), which we
>     currently cannot--I tried using docbook2texi, but it doesn't work
>     well at all;

  All we need to really do this is a good stylesheet for the texinfo format.
Maybe that's where we should be putting some time into rather than converting
the entire doc in texinfo from sgml. It was really painful when I converted
the texinfo format doc to DocBook, I'd hate to go back.

> What do you think?

  I prefer DocBook. I think texinfo had it's time back in the tty only days,
but that DocBook is a superior format. For one thing I like the fact we could
pretty easily add the DejaGnu manual to the default Linux help system. (the F1
button) The syntax of DocBook is also more flexible than texinfo, and the
output is also much better than you can get with the texinfo tools. I guess
I'm a GNU heretic (what can you expect from a Tcl programmer :-).

  Rather than use info, I use lynx or Firebird on the generated html files.

        - rob -

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