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Re: terminal escapes in Info files?

From: Alper Ersoy
Subject: Re: terminal escapes in Info files?
Date: Thu, 30 Oct 2003 12:42:38 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.4.1i


Oliver Scholz:
> Most notably the markup could be syntactical rather than specifying
> the colours to use. I *hate* it, if a document tells me the best
> colour for me to read a certain syntactic element. Let the document
> specify the syntactical element and let me customize the colour.

Ok.  If we lean towards a syntactical markup, it should _also_ specify
the best colour, typeface, etc. too.  We must do this, otherwise
whenever there's a new command in Texinfo, readers will be unaware of
how to handle it.  Something like (notation aside):

  ^H^[var bi^H^]Variable^H^[/var^H^]

So it's bold-italic.  But you (info reader) know it's a var, so you
can use whatever style you want.  Sometime in the future, when we have
this @funky command:

  ^H^[funky sb,red^H^]Art Vandelay^H^[/funky^H^]

You don't know what a funky text is, but you can use the style
provided there.

However, I suggested ANSI escapes in the first place because of the
star characters around strong text.  One can use @strong only, and
still get a flowing text in display environments supporting bold
typeface.  Not with Info though.

Introducing syntactical markup elements is IMHO burning your blanket
because of one flea.

The only way to justify changes this level is to also identify the
other problems in Info, and to address them all at once, then declare
it as Info2.  After all, we are breaking compatibility here, so it
_must_ have to offer more.

Currently though, Info serves as the 'final destionation of
documents.'  So what's wrong with using a widely adopted and frozen
standard? (ECMA-48)

> Another old wish of mine is that the info format could specify the
> type of code, for example (I am using an XML-like notation here,
> because I am not familiar with the info file format):

This has to be addressed in Texinfo first.  Admittedly, I could never
understand @lisp.  Why not

  @example lisp
  @end example

  @example C++
  @end example

Like @itemize, @example can accept an optional parameter.  @lisp can
be an alias to address@hidden lisp'' internally.  What do you think?

Info doesn't have to format each of these differently, so makeinfo can
omit the rest of @example lines.  However, HTML and XML backends can
clearly make use of this information.

Alper Ersoy

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