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Re: man vs info vs texinfo files



Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams wrote:
On Thu, 2009-03-05 at 23:36 -0430, Patrick O'Callaghan wrote:
On Thu, 2009-03-05 at 15:37 -0800, Per Bothner wrote:
Fedora (and GNU systems in general) should stop shipping info files,
and should instead ship the texinfo source files.  The makeinfo
program will convert texinfo files into html or docbook, as well
as old-fashioned info.  Html or docbook is much nicer - you can
use non-monospace fonts (for the body), and the text can be
re-flowed to fit the window.  Also, indexes and cross-references
can take you to a precise location, rather than just a node.
Interesting idea. Is there any reason why this wouldn't work?

Are we then going to require people to use elinks or w3m to view them,
plus expect them to know where the HTML pages are stored in the first
place?

No, the far more sane option is to fix info or pinfo so that it catches
SIGWINCH and reflows as necessary.



I personally think having more than one format (or rather, not having everything in one format) is a pain. I don't like having to guess what format documentation us in (man, info, html, pdf, postscript or something else).

I do a significant amount of my work at consoles: right now, I have 11 terminals open, some being konsoles almost all with multiple tabs plus four virtual consoles, one of which runs screen, currently imbedding six sessions. Often my terminal sessions connect to other computers,
frequently running screen remotely.

That leaves HTML, INFO and man as the only possible formats for me. Often (almost always) HTML imbeds graphic images, so I'll rule that one out too.

In maybe ten years, I've yet to come to terms with FSF's info command, I mostly just pipe it's output into less. Alternatively, I use pinfo.



Much to my surprise, info can display man pages. It's not documented as doing so (CentOS5), but I knew pinfo does, so I tested info.

A disadvantage of converting info documents to man is that info documents can contain hyperlinks, and these are lost on conversion.


--

Cheers
John

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