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Re: [Help-gsl] New documentation format
Re: [Help-gsl] New documentation format
Mon, 24 Apr 2017 12:23:38 -0600
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Thank you for the links - it is impressive what you've accomplished
with texinfo for your manual. I decided on sphinx for a few reasons:
1. Out of the box support for equations and images in HTML - I like what
you've done with texinfo on this front but still texinfo doesn't
natively support this without your modifications.
2. Modern PDF output - sphinx generates a linkable TOC and in-document
links which makes it easy to navigate the PDF output - texinfo doesn't
put any links in the PDF documents
3. The native source format for sphinx is much simpler and easier to
read than texinfo
4. Sphinx is currently being actively developed - I don't think texinfo
Also to answer your question, sphinx is able to produce info output, so
we will be providing info files with GSL - this is something many users
need so we made sure sphinx could do this before switching.
On 04/24/2017 11:09 AM, Mohammad Akhlaghi wrote:
This is Mohammad Akhlaghi (maintainer of GNU Astronomy Utilities). We
heavily rely on GSL in Gnuastro and I use it alot personally also. So
I wanted to thank you for all the great work on this important package.
I just wanted to see if future versions of GSL will also ship with the
info documentation (in other words, is it possible to get an `info'
output from Sphinx and make it installable in the GNU Build style)?
The reason I am asking this is that I do all my development in Emacs
and rely mostly on the great `info' documentations of the tools I use
like GSL, GLIBC and many other programs/libraries (like Make and AWK
also). Since info is offline, easily navigatable without having to
move your hands to the touchpad or mouse, and can be used in the the
non-GUI environment of the virtual console, it is a really attractive
option. Also, since it is installed with the program on the system you
can always be sure that your info documentation is the same version as
the library/program, but for PDF/HTML, you need to check the version
The default HTML output of Texinfo is indeed not very attractive, I
agree. Gnuastro's documentation also heavily uses mathematic equations
and also comes with a library. To solve the appearence issues with the
default HTML output of Texinfo, in Gnuastro, we have created this
small shell script:
and these Texinfo macros to treat mathematical equations differently
on different outputs:
A CSS class is also added and we also use MathJax (installed on the
GNU servers) for displaying the equations. For example you can see
some example pages with equations, figures and library function
descrip tions in the links below.
webpage viewer/user can also get the TeX/MathML source of the
equations to use in their own documents for example (by right-clicking
on the equations). MathJax is also configured to work with LibreJS.
I understand that a lot of work has probably gone into the conversion
to Sphinx, but just wanted point out how useful info can be and some
solutions that exist for making better looking HTML webpages with
Texinfo to benefit from both (CLI and GUI) worlds. If you would be
willing to reconsider Texinfo, I would be happy/honored to help
impelement these features.
In any case, thank you very much for all the great work on GSL,
On 04/24/2017 06:31 PM, Patrick Alken wrote:
Sometime ago it was suggested to switch the GSL documentation from
the current texinfo format to sphinx, which has superior HTML and PDF
rendering. I thought this was a good idea and so I have now converted
the GSL documentation over to sphinx, and a beta version is available
I would appreciate if people could take a look at make any
suggestions or let me know if you spot any bugs. Perhaps everyone
could read through their favorite chapter and make sure the formulas
and figures all look ok.