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Re: Reference Manual updates

daemon@ATHENA.MIT.EDU (Wed Dec 1 13:33:35 1999 )

Date: Wed, 1 Dec 1999 11:13:54 -0700
From: Brandon Gillespie <brandon@roguetrader.com>
To: coldstuff@cold.org
In-Reply-To: <199911292207.OAA09859@taller.eng.sun.com>; from Jeff Kesselman on Mon, Nov 29, 1999 at 02:07:40PM -0800
Reply-To: coldstuff@cold.org

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On Mon, Nov 29, 1999 at 02:07:40PM -0800, Jeff Kesselman wrote:
> Word is porbably the single most used word processor onm the desktop (good
> or bad, it is true.) So I think word is a good form,ato starty from.  We
> shoudl do PDF though as well as straight text.

I do not have the ability to read ''word'' documents, without
converting them first.  Thus, it impacts me :)

As for starting from--we already have that in its current incarnation

And, IMHO, we should not keep it in a bloated WYSIWYG binary format,
but rather in a clean and concise standard translatable format, such
as any from the list Miro suggested (infact the manual was originally
in texinfo format, but I converted it to cml/ctext so as to maintain a
single source for changes, so there was no disparity).

Right now the manual is in Ctext/CML.  It should not be much work to write
a ctext formatter to output a document in one of these formats--it
just hasn't been done yet.  I did spend a brief time to make the
$flat_format, which dumps everthing out as plain text.  However,
making it a little smarter should not be much work.  Having it build
an index as it goes should also not be much work--just keep a dictionary of
all links.  Building a TOC is also easy.

With this in mind, my personal preferences would be:

   1) Somebody write an output formatter such as $texinfo_format,
      and we continue to maintain the reference manual in cml/ctext
   2) Somebody convert it to a static acceptably open standard
      format (see Miro's message for a good list of potential
      candidates), and we remove the manual from ColdCore (keeping
      the two copies up to date is not likely).

Of course keeping it in a word format is also an option, just not on my
list ;)

-Brandon Gillespie

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