[Maxima] proposal to omit pdf generation of reference manual
ko at research.att.com
Mon Mar 12 07:36:33 CDT 2007
My view on the PDF/HTML debate is that we are talking about
a system to do mathematics, so its documentation should be
be such that the mathematical content is nicely displayed.
Right now the Maxima manual has a 1970s (maybe 1980s) look
to it, because the equations (what the system types
out) are displayed in 2d ASCII form. Compare that with the
documentation for Mathematica, Maple,
Assuming that TeXinfo is the main documentation tool, the
displays in at least the English PDF version can be improved
by using e.g., TeXmacs, to produce them in TeX code, which
can then be pasted into the TeXInfo file. There probably
are other ways as well. I don't know how to do something
analogous for the HTML version, but something should be
possible. PNGs in the worst case.
In short, I like PDF because of its display quality, which
right now is not fully utilized, and because it is searchable.
Robert Dodier wrote:
> On 3/11/07, Alasdair McAndrew <amca01 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> The trouble with both the html and the pdf documents is that they display
>> maths as text, and there are no graphics. Surely it is possible to have
>> mathematics nicely TeX-ed, and for graphical examples to be accompanied by
> I think that since about 5.10 or so there are figures embedded in the
> html version to accompany the text for plot2d etc.
> As for equations, I'm not sure what should be done there.
> For html I guess equations could be embedded as images but that
> seems not entirely satisfactory to me.
>> Also, there seem to be very few cross-references - once you get
>> into a section, there is masses of information, with no "See also...." and
>> the like.
> I'd like for names of functions and variables to be linked as cross-refs
> in the html version. Unfortunately @ref and its variants make an
> annoying ::Note or some wart like that, so getting something that makes
> links in html without producing warts in .info seems to require hacking
> either makeinfo or texi2html ... sigh.
> I also want to implement a category system, in which a variable or
> function can belong to multiple categories. Each category would have
> its own page, constructed automatically, which has links to all items
> in that category. I have gotten started on this idea but haven't really
> put the wheels in motion.
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