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Re: A new online publishing tool for Texinfo documents.

From: Karl Berry
Subject: Re: A new online publishing tool for Texinfo documents.
Date: Sat, 22 Nov 2003 16:18:03 -0500

Hi Nic, Bob, all,

    This message has been sent to all interested parties.

Well, not quite.  You missed everyone else interested in Texinfo :).
I've included address@hidden now.  (I also forwarded your
message there so the others will have the background.)

Overall, I like the plan very much.  

As you may already know (perhaps it was the impetus for this?), there
was a long thread on emacs-devel recently about approaching this from
the other direction: extending Info format to carry more markup
information, so that Emacs could do a better job rendering it (the
original hope was to have a way to colorize certain parts of the Info files).

At that time, I stated (and still believe) that starting with the
makeinfo XML output would be much better and easier than turning Info
format into some kind of ersatz XML/HTML.  So I'm very happy to see this
proposal :).

Here are other comments.

    alter makeinfo --xml so that it splits the XML by Texinfo

I am no xml expert, but I'm not sure that is necessary or desirable,
since the only thing that will read the XML is other scripts.  It is the
specialized HTML that needs to be split.  And even then, split nodes are
just one possible outcome.  There are xref issues here, which Patrice
Dumas and I have hashed over at some length.  Anyway, all that is a
technical detail.

In any case, you should know that Alper Ersoy <address@hidden> (who's on
texinfo-pretest) has been doing great work with makeinfo in the last few
weeks, especially the XML, Docbook, and HTML output.  I'm sure he will
have some comments.

Alper has also worked a lot with the XML output for purposes of the GTK
documentation system.  Maybe some of that can be reused.

    I personally don't think this will deprecate the existing HTML output
    from makeinfo because that has good support for ALL browsers.

And doesn't require any server-side support.

    Emacs/W3 and Lynx do not support Javascript so we will have to find
    another way of binding actions to keys within the HTML pages
    downloaded to those browsers.

Presumably it is possible to do anything in Emacs :).  
In any case, Emacs/W3 may not the best approach for Emacs support.  But
that's up to the emacs developers, of course.

As for lynx, I do not know; I haven't tried the version of links you

JavaScript is the only standard way to do browser-side programming that
I know of.  It may turn out that only a small subset of JavaScript is
actually needed for the job, that wouldn't be as painful to add to Emacs
and Lynx as the whole huge mess.


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