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Re: Changes to Texinfo DTD

From: Oliver Scholz
Subject: Re: Changes to Texinfo DTD
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2003 16:59:33 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.1002 (Gnus v5.10.2) Emacs/21.3.50 (windows-nt)

"Robert J. Chassell" <address@hidden> writes:

> Juri Linkov <address@hidden> wrote
>     There are many other arguments for using HTML as Info format.
> Before trying to persuade people to change the current Info format,
> please tell us what changes should be made to the current Texinfo DTD.

I was not aware of makeinfo's XML output when I hacked my little
proof-of-concept patch. After Karl Berry mentioned it in private mail,
I had a quick look at it. I think now that it would be a good idea to
use that rather than HTML.

That is because texinfo's HTML output would need to be
changed. Currently it is not easy to parse for an info reader which
would have to identify menus, the beginnings of nodes etc.. And it
does not provide enough of the kind of syntactical information that
only make a change of the format desirable, IMO.

The texinfo XML OTOH would be easy to parse AFAICS and it provides all
syntactical information that I would like to see. And it is already
implemented in makeinfo.

If all other things were equal, HTML would have been nice, because
people were free to choose their suboptimal browser to view the info
files. That might be a small benefit, but it is a benefit. But things
are not equal: the texinfo format is already implemented and up to
the task.  For HTML on the other hand it would be necessary to design
an specify special conventions and to implement those conventions in

So I have offered to hack the standalone info reader so that it would
support the XML format in the same way that I have chosen in my
patch. But I got not response so far.

> [Also, how do you view an XML file with a DTD in a manner that looks
> like graphically displayed HTML, as in Mozilla; how do you do the same
> in Emacs?]

One could write a CSS for texinfo XML, so that at least some browsers,
like Mozilla, could render it.

As for Emacs: I could write a parser and trivial renderer (applying
text-properties) for texinfo XML in on a sunday afternoon.

Oliver Scholz               28 Brumaire an 212 de la Révolution
Taunusstr. 25               Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité!
60329 Frankfurt a. M.       http://www.jungdemokratenhessen.de
Tel. (069) 97 40 99 42      http://www.jdjl.org

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