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Re: terminal escapes in Info files?

From: Robert J. Chassell
Subject: Re: terminal escapes in Info files?
Date: Thu, 30 Oct 2003 01:13:00 +0000 (UTC)

   But I don't see why the Info format is superior to the HTML markup
   language, ...

By default, HTML does not distinguish between references to another
part of the same document on a different HTML page and references to a
different document.  This means that you cannot search through a
multi-page document.  The `find next part' component of a regexp
search engine cannot be sure it is finding the next part close by.
You cannot navigate efficiently using search.

Of course, good writers can write good documents, and only make proper
references; but this depends on a writer going against the design of
the language.  The capability is there, but writers can, and most do,
ignore the capability.  Indeed, major Web browsers lack default key
bindings for `next', `previous', and `up' pages of a document --
probably for the good reason that the keys would fail on most Web

I have the strong impression that those who browse the Web do not know
that it is possible and pleasant to navigate efficiently through a
multi-page document by pressing the space bar or with regular
expression searches.  They are impressed by the advantages of the Web
over printed-book libraries and filing cabinets and do not realize
they are missing computer features that have been available for a

Also writers have a tendency to use various HTML features, like side
bars, that work find for sighted readers with fast connections, but
which cause trouble when the reader is using a slow connection.

Moreover, as a practical matter, writers of HTML documents tend to
think of their readers as sighted rather than blind.  They tend to
depend on pictures.  They do not think of a sighted expert with a slow
connection as effectively blind; they do not think of the permanently

This over-dependence on images is not an HTML design feature.  The
problems imposed cannot be blamed on HTML, like the problem with
efficient navigation.  But the problem does tend to accompany Web
browsers and HTML documents.

    Robert J. Chassell                         Rattlesnake Enterprises
    http://www.rattlesnake.com                  GnuPG Key ID: 004B4AC8
    http://www.teak.cc                             address@hidden

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