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Re: Community improvements to the Emacs Widget Library manual?

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: Community improvements to the Emacs Widget Library manual?
Date: Mon, 24 Jul 2023 14:37:44 +0300

> From: Bryce <bovine@cyberscientist.ca>
> Cc: maurooaranda@gmail.com, emacs-devel@gnu.org
> Date: Sun, 23 Jul 2023 17:06:45 -0600
> [...]
> To quote the library,
>     | This is the general syntax of a type specification:
>     |
>     |      NAME ::= (NAME [KEYWORD ARGUMENT]... ARGS)
>     |           |   NAME
>     |
>     |    Where, NAME is a widget name, KEYWORD is the name of a
>     | property, ARGUMENT is the value of the property, and ARGS are
>     | interpreted in a widget specific way.
> When I first approached the manual I had a difficult time understanding
> the full meaning of this meta-language. I did not know what BNF or EBNF
> are, and even after having a friend explain it to me I still struggled
> to realize that NAME on the second bar is an alternative right-hand
> side.
> I'm a competent self-taught programmer (and I have a year of formal
> education in CS under my belt), but I wasn't familialr with BNF. I now
> know it is widely used when describing a formal language grammar, but we
> should include something in the manual to at least make it clear that
> this is what follows.
> We /might/ elect to include a new manual in Emacs overall, or write a
> new GNU manual to describe the concepts of Backus-Naur forms (BNF), or
> Extended BNF. GNU Bison has a section (ยง1.1) in its manual which
> describes some of the basic concepts of BNF and context-free grammars.
> We might simply refer uses to that manual, or link to an external
> reference document with a GPL compatible license which could be
> redistributed by the FSF or another party friendly to GNU Emacs.

A cross-reference to another manual where BNF is explained is TRT,

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