[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Where we stand

    Date: Tue, 27 May 1986  15:44 EDT
    From: Scott E. Fahlman <Fahlman at C.CS.CMU.EDU>
    No, but I decided to disagree with it.  As I said at the time in mail I
    hope you got, I think that having a way of quickly whipping up a
    decent-looking document with an index, visible section headings, and
    some way of getting at distinctive fonts for emphasis and for code
    examples will be valuable during the development process.  I don't think
    that a lot of effort should go into making the document beautiful at
    this point, but I want it to be reasonably functional and not just
    80-column uglitext for reading on terminals.

While there is something to be said for the ability to generate passable
hardcopy, I have yet to see a text-justifier that has a notation for font
shifts that doesn't render the input text unreadable.  TeX's notation is
perhaps the worst of the bunch.  

When generating documentation myself, I generally stick to a few simple,
readable conventions to indicate -emphasis-, CODE, <meta-variables>,
.section names, etc.  Then a couple of TECO macros generally suffice to
convert the result to TeX input or whatever, when the time comes for fancy
output.  I don't know if a group can work this way, but it sure would be
nice to be able to work with readable text.  I want to be able to get
proposed text in my mailbox, and not have to run it through TeX in order to
read it without donning my kludge-proof goggles.

Look at it this way, this document is for communication among ourselves
almost as much as it is for communication with the rest of the world.