IPF tables misaligned - OS2

This is a discussion on IPF tables misaligned - OS2 ; [A complimentary Cc of this posting was sent to Alex Taylor ], who wrote in article : > It's still the best thing available for online help files and books. It would be the best *if* there were a decent ...

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Thread: IPF tables misaligned

  1. Re: IPF tables misaligned

    [A complimentary Cc of this posting was sent to
    Alex Taylor
    ], who wrote in article :

    > It's still the best thing available for online help files and books.


    It would be the best *if* there were a decent viewer for it... And,
    IMO, INFO format comes very close in usability (and features).

    > HTML is vastly less convenient; PDF even less so.


    These two are abominations (at least in context of software
    documentation) indeed...

    Yours,
    Ilya

  2. Re: IPF tables misaligned

    In article
    nospam-abuse@ilyaz.org " Ilya Zakharevich" writes:

    > [A complimentary Cc of this posting was sent to
    > Alex Taylor
    > ], who wrote in article
    > :
    >
    > > HTML is vastly less convenient; PDF even less so.

    >
    > These two are abominations (at least in context of software
    > documentation) indeed...


    Elsewhere, especially in general publishing (eg text fiction and
    comics), PDF seems to have been adopted as a _lingua franca_ for
    sending documents, either where layout is important (eg comics),
    or where one cannot otherwise rely on the receiver being able to
    read the file. This IMHO says a lot about the general lousiness
    of the market-dominator'$ WP product$. OTOH in practice PDF (eg
    as generated by the OS/2 IBM PS driver, converted by Ghostscript
    to PDF) serves well and can require surprisingly small files.

    I have used HTML for sending my WordStar documents (eg scripts).
    --
    Andrew Stephenson


  3. Re: IPF tables misaligned

    In article
    nospam-abuse@ilyaz.org " Ilya Zakharevich" writes:

    > [A complimentary Cc of this posting was sent to
    > Alex Taylor
    > ], who wrote in article
    > :
    >
    > > HTML is vastly less convenient; PDF even less so.

    >
    > These two are abominations (at least in context of software
    > documentation) indeed...


    Elsewhere, especially in general publishing (eg text fiction and
    comics), PDF seems to have been adopted as a _lingua franca_ for
    sending documents, either where layout is important (eg comics),
    or where one cannot otherwise rely on the receiver being able to
    read the file. This IMHO says a lot about the general lousiness
    of the market-dominator'$ WP product$. OTOH in practice PDF (eg
    as generated by the OS/2 IBM PS driver, converted by Ghostscript
    to PDF) serves well and can require surprisingly small files.

    I have used HTML for sending my WordStar documents (eg scripts).
    --
    Andrew Stephenson


  4. Re: IPF tables misaligned

    On 25.06.08 22:02, Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz wrote:

    > In , on 06/26/2008
    > at 12:51 AM, Aaron Lawrence said:
    >
    >> It is *much* more primitive than HTML, for example.

    >
    > FSVO primitive. It's certainly more primitive than, e.g.,
    > BookMaster, DocBook, but it has facilities that HTML lacks.


    IPF and HTML are quite primitive languages. DocBook has a much higher
    level and is much more comfortable. It's like the comparison between
    Plain TeX and (LaTeX + Koma-Script). But in the TeX scene, a user can
    avoid TeX/Plain TeX commands and is able to do almost everything with
    LaTeX. IMO, that's still unique for a document language.

    I'm wondering that we still have to use a hard to read and type
    language like HTML for writing Web pages. CMS' are great, but we still
    need HTML additionally.

    --
    Andreas Schnellbacher

  5. Re: IPF tables misaligned

    On 25.06.08 22:02, Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz wrote:

    > In , on 06/26/2008
    > at 12:51 AM, Aaron Lawrence said:
    >
    >> It is *much* more primitive than HTML, for example.

    >
    > FSVO primitive. It's certainly more primitive than, e.g.,
    > BookMaster, DocBook, but it has facilities that HTML lacks.


    IPF and HTML are quite primitive languages. DocBook has a much higher
    level and is much more comfortable. It's like the comparison between
    Plain TeX and (LaTeX + Koma-Script). But in the TeX scene, a user can
    avoid TeX/Plain TeX commands and is able to do almost everything with
    LaTeX. IMO, that's still unique for a document language.

    I'm wondering that we still have to use a hard to read and type
    language like HTML for writing Web pages. CMS' are great, but we still
    need HTML additionally.

    --
    Andreas Schnellbacher

  6. Re: IPF tables misaligned

    On Thu, 26 Jun 2008 19:27:17 UTC, Andreas Schnellbacher
    wrote:

    > On 25.06.08 22:02, Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz wrote:
    >
    > > In , on 06/26/2008
    > > at 12:51 AM, Aaron Lawrence said:
    > >
    > >> It is *much* more primitive than HTML, for example.

    > >
    > > FSVO primitive. It's certainly more primitive than, e.g.,
    > > BookMaster, DocBook, but it has facilities that HTML lacks.

    >
    > IPF and HTML are quite primitive languages. DocBook has a much higher
    > level and is much more comfortable. It's like the comparison between
    > Plain TeX and (LaTeX + Koma-Script). But in the TeX scene, a user can
    > avoid TeX/Plain TeX commands and is able to do almost everything with
    > LaTeX. IMO, that's still unique for a document language.
    >
    > I'm wondering that we still have to use a hard to read and type
    > language like HTML for writing Web pages. CMS' are great, but we still
    > need HTML additionally.


    I've written quite a lot of documentation in Texinfo. That can generate
    info files, but also nicely typeset PostScript (and thus PDF), as well
    as passable HTML.

    See:

    http://www.ml1.org.uk

    for examples.

    --
    Bob Eager
    Use the BIG mirror service in the UK:
    http://www.mirrorservice.org


  7. Re: IPF tables misaligned

    On Thu, 26 Jun 2008 19:27:17 UTC, Andreas Schnellbacher
    wrote:

    > On 25.06.08 22:02, Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz wrote:
    >
    > > In , on 06/26/2008
    > > at 12:51 AM, Aaron Lawrence said:
    > >
    > >> It is *much* more primitive than HTML, for example.

    > >
    > > FSVO primitive. It's certainly more primitive than, e.g.,
    > > BookMaster, DocBook, but it has facilities that HTML lacks.

    >
    > IPF and HTML are quite primitive languages. DocBook has a much higher
    > level and is much more comfortable. It's like the comparison between
    > Plain TeX and (LaTeX + Koma-Script). But in the TeX scene, a user can
    > avoid TeX/Plain TeX commands and is able to do almost everything with
    > LaTeX. IMO, that's still unique for a document language.
    >
    > I'm wondering that we still have to use a hard to read and type
    > language like HTML for writing Web pages. CMS' are great, but we still
    > need HTML additionally.


    I've written quite a lot of documentation in Texinfo. That can generate
    info files, but also nicely typeset PostScript (and thus PDF), as well
    as passable HTML.

    See:

    http://www.ml1.org.uk

    for examples.

    --
    Bob Eager
    Use the BIG mirror service in the UK:
    http://www.mirrorservice.org


  8. Re: IPF tables misaligned

    On 26.06.08 21:32, Bob Eager wrote:

    > On Thu, 26 Jun 2008 19:27:17 UTC, Andreas Schnellbacher
    > wrote:
    >
    >> IPF and HTML are quite primitive languages. DocBook has a much
    >> higher level and is much more comfortable. It's like the comparison
    >> between Plain TeX and (LaTeX + Koma-Script). But in the TeX scene,
    >> a user can avoid TeX/Plain TeX commands and is able to do almost
    >> everything with LaTeX. IMO, that's still unique for a document
    >> language.
    >>
    >> I'm wondering that we still have to use a hard to read and type
    >> language like HTML for writing Web pages. CMS' are great, but we
    >> still need HTML additionally.

    >
    > I've written quite a lot of documentation in Texinfo. That can
    > generate info files, but also nicely typeset PostScript (and thus
    > PDF), as well as passable HTML.
    >
    > See:
    >
    > http://www.ml1.org.uk
    >
    > for examples.


    I know about that facility, but I don't like TeXinfo's interface. When
    you're already used to write in LaTeX it's more like learning another
    language. BTW: TeXinfo apparently is a "dead" language, like Plain
    TeX. Are there any styles available to include pics?

    What has this to do with IPF? There exists a TeXinfo -> IPF converter,
    written in Perl. Ilya will probably comment on that. ;-) But I don't
    like its IPF output (and I even don't like that of Ulrichs HTML -> IPF
    converter). BTW: I prefer Christian's HyperText/2 for writing OS/2
    docs in IPF/HLP/INF, but a converter from standard LaTeX -> IPF would
    probably be even more convenient.

    --
    Andreas Schnellbacher

  9. Re: IPF tables misaligned

    On 26.06.08 21:32, Bob Eager wrote:

    > On Thu, 26 Jun 2008 19:27:17 UTC, Andreas Schnellbacher
    > wrote:
    >
    >> IPF and HTML are quite primitive languages. DocBook has a much
    >> higher level and is much more comfortable. It's like the comparison
    >> between Plain TeX and (LaTeX + Koma-Script). But in the TeX scene,
    >> a user can avoid TeX/Plain TeX commands and is able to do almost
    >> everything with LaTeX. IMO, that's still unique for a document
    >> language.
    >>
    >> I'm wondering that we still have to use a hard to read and type
    >> language like HTML for writing Web pages. CMS' are great, but we
    >> still need HTML additionally.

    >
    > I've written quite a lot of documentation in Texinfo. That can
    > generate info files, but also nicely typeset PostScript (and thus
    > PDF), as well as passable HTML.
    >
    > See:
    >
    > http://www.ml1.org.uk
    >
    > for examples.


    I know about that facility, but I don't like TeXinfo's interface. When
    you're already used to write in LaTeX it's more like learning another
    language. BTW: TeXinfo apparently is a "dead" language, like Plain
    TeX. Are there any styles available to include pics?

    What has this to do with IPF? There exists a TeXinfo -> IPF converter,
    written in Perl. Ilya will probably comment on that. ;-) But I don't
    like its IPF output (and I even don't like that of Ulrichs HTML -> IPF
    converter). BTW: I prefer Christian's HyperText/2 for writing OS/2
    docs in IPF/HLP/INF, but a converter from standard LaTeX -> IPF would
    probably be even more convenient.

    --
    Andreas Schnellbacher

  10. Re: IPF tables misaligned

    On Thu, 26 Jun 2008 20:25:08 UTC, Andreas Schnellbacher
    wrote:

    > I know about that facility, but I don't like TeXinfo's interface. When
    > you're already used to write in LaTeX it's more like learning another
    > language.


    Of course; it isn't meant to be the same. It's quite a rigid markup
    intended to provide (and enforce) a consistency in a way that LaTeX
    cannot.

    > BTW: TeXinfo apparently is a "dead" language, like Plain
    > TeX.


    Plain TeX isn't 'dead', but not many people use it. But TeXinfo is used
    all the time; it's how GNU documentation is made.


  11. Re: IPF tables misaligned

    On Thu, 26 Jun 2008 20:25:08 UTC, Andreas Schnellbacher
    wrote:

    > I know about that facility, but I don't like TeXinfo's interface. When
    > you're already used to write in LaTeX it's more like learning another
    > language.


    Of course; it isn't meant to be the same. It's quite a rigid markup
    intended to provide (and enforce) a consistency in a way that LaTeX
    cannot.

    > BTW: TeXinfo apparently is a "dead" language, like Plain
    > TeX.


    Plain TeX isn't 'dead', but not many people use it. But TeXinfo is used
    all the time; it's how GNU documentation is made.


  12. Re: IPF tables misaligned

    On 26.06.08 22:55, Bob Eager wrote:

    > On Thu, 26 Jun 2008 20:25:08 UTC, Andreas Schnellbacher
    > wrote:
    >
    >> I know about that facility, but I don't like TeXinfo's interface.
    >> When you're already used to write in LaTeX it's more like learning
    >> another language.

    >
    > Of course; it isn't meant to be the same. It's quite a rigid markup
    > intended to provide (and enforce) a consistency in a way that LaTeX
    > cannot.
    >
    >> BTW: TeXinfo apparently is a "dead" language, like Plain TeX.

    >
    > Plain TeX isn't 'dead', but not many people use it. But TeXinfo is
    > used all the time; it's how GNU documentation is made.


    You mean docs for text mode apps? OK, for that application it
    suffices. The interesting point is:

    o How should a good program documentation look like[1]?

    o Are there easy-to-use tools available to create them?

    o Could we even improve the existing situation? It's for sure that
    we need a better docs creating system on OS/2. The next step
    would be the viewer and we should concentrate on viewers for
    existing formats, like: INF/HLP, PS, PDF or even a text editor.
    (BTW: I prefer viewing the standard, also available in TeXinfo
    or man format, docs in my text editor.)

    (Bob, glad that you've respected the double quotes around "dead".)

    [1] I don't think the current mainstream OS delivers the standard how
    to do that and should define which medium we should use for that.
    Moreover, they created an uncomfortable state for both the creators
    and the readers. But the idea to use compressed HTML as the underlying
    format is not that bad. I think, sooner or later we'll cover that, but
    we need a more convenient system to create the help files than
    KompoZer.

    --
    Andreas Schnellbacher

  13. Re: IPF tables misaligned

    On 26.06.08 22:55, Bob Eager wrote:

    > On Thu, 26 Jun 2008 20:25:08 UTC, Andreas Schnellbacher
    > wrote:
    >
    >> I know about that facility, but I don't like TeXinfo's interface.
    >> When you're already used to write in LaTeX it's more like learning
    >> another language.

    >
    > Of course; it isn't meant to be the same. It's quite a rigid markup
    > intended to provide (and enforce) a consistency in a way that LaTeX
    > cannot.
    >
    >> BTW: TeXinfo apparently is a "dead" language, like Plain TeX.

    >
    > Plain TeX isn't 'dead', but not many people use it. But TeXinfo is
    > used all the time; it's how GNU documentation is made.


    You mean docs for text mode apps? OK, for that application it
    suffices. The interesting point is:

    o How should a good program documentation look like[1]?

    o Are there easy-to-use tools available to create them?

    o Could we even improve the existing situation? It's for sure that
    we need a better docs creating system on OS/2. The next step
    would be the viewer and we should concentrate on viewers for
    existing formats, like: INF/HLP, PS, PDF or even a text editor.
    (BTW: I prefer viewing the standard, also available in TeXinfo
    or man format, docs in my text editor.)

    (Bob, glad that you've respected the double quotes around "dead".)

    [1] I don't think the current mainstream OS delivers the standard how
    to do that and should define which medium we should use for that.
    Moreover, they created an uncomfortable state for both the creators
    and the readers. But the idea to use compressed HTML as the underlying
    format is not that bad. I think, sooner or later we'll cover that, but
    we need a more convenient system to create the help files than
    KompoZer.

    --
    Andreas Schnellbacher

  14. Re: IPF tables misaligned

    On Wed, 25 Jun 2008 22:27:04 UTC, Andreas Schnellbacher
    wrote:

    > >> It is *much* more primitive than HTML, for example. I can't really
    > >> think of any benefit to it these days. It's only still useful for
    > >> the many old documents in it (and apps linking to them for help).

    > >
    > > It's still the best thing available for online help files and books.
    > > HTML is vastly less convenient; PDF even less so.

    >
    > Most likely you're talking about speed. IPF comes with an index that
    > makes searching fast and that's also browsable. (Searching in HTML or
    > even in PDF is a PITA.) Additionally, it automatically creates the TOC.


    Speed is part of it. Including the fact that you don't have to fire up
    a huge slow-loading application just to quickly open a help document.


    > OTOH, its formatting facilities are poor and even too simple to
    > provide a homogenous appearance, especially for technical texts that
    > include source code and examples. IMO, that weakness of IPF is also
    > its strength: You can't format the text until it gets unreadable, as
    > possible for HTML texts. That means: HTML is not generally unsuitable
    > for program docs, but it's quite easy to format the text badly, that
    > it would be harder to read it than an IPF-based text.
    >
    > That means: The problem is not the variety of facilities HTML
    > provides, but has to do with how they were applied by the authors.


    Yes, to an extent. However, as far as I know there's no practical way to
    create multi-page hierarchical information layouts in HTML without using
    multiple files, which completely buggers up searching and indexing. That's
    the other major limitation.


    As for PDF, it's essentially a mechanism for distributing WYSIWYG printed
    documents electronically. Great if you plan on printing it, dreadful for
    useful instant-access infor navigation.

    --
    Alex Taylor
    Fukushima, Japan
    http://www.socis.ca/~ataylo00

    Please take off hat when replying.

  15. Re: IPF tables misaligned

    On Wed, 25 Jun 2008 22:27:04 UTC, Andreas Schnellbacher
    wrote:

    > >> It is *much* more primitive than HTML, for example. I can't really
    > >> think of any benefit to it these days. It's only still useful for
    > >> the many old documents in it (and apps linking to them for help).

    > >
    > > It's still the best thing available for online help files and books.
    > > HTML is vastly less convenient; PDF even less so.

    >
    > Most likely you're talking about speed. IPF comes with an index that
    > makes searching fast and that's also browsable. (Searching in HTML or
    > even in PDF is a PITA.) Additionally, it automatically creates the TOC.


    Speed is part of it. Including the fact that you don't have to fire up
    a huge slow-loading application just to quickly open a help document.


    > OTOH, its formatting facilities are poor and even too simple to
    > provide a homogenous appearance, especially for technical texts that
    > include source code and examples. IMO, that weakness of IPF is also
    > its strength: You can't format the text until it gets unreadable, as
    > possible for HTML texts. That means: HTML is not generally unsuitable
    > for program docs, but it's quite easy to format the text badly, that
    > it would be harder to read it than an IPF-based text.
    >
    > That means: The problem is not the variety of facilities HTML
    > provides, but has to do with how they were applied by the authors.


    Yes, to an extent. However, as far as I know there's no practical way to
    create multi-page hierarchical information layouts in HTML without using
    multiple files, which completely buggers up searching and indexing. That's
    the other major limitation.


    As for PDF, it's essentially a mechanism for distributing WYSIWYG printed
    documents electronically. Great if you plan on printing it, dreadful for
    useful instant-access infor navigation.

    --
    Alex Taylor
    Fukushima, Japan
    http://www.socis.ca/~ataylo00

    Please take off hat when replying.

  16. Re: IPF tables misaligned

    > As for PDF, it's essentially a mechanism for distributing WYSIWYG printed
    > documents electronically.


    Not to mention the fact you'll need an external search engine if you
    don't know which one to search in, nor the enormous size of Windows
    versions (about 100 MB, IIRC).


  17. Re: IPF tables misaligned

    > As for PDF, it's essentially a mechanism for distributing WYSIWYG printed
    > documents electronically.


    Not to mention the fact you'll need an external search engine if you
    don't know which one to search in, nor the enormous size of Windows
    versions (about 100 MB, IIRC).


  18. Re: IPF tables misaligned

    In article ,
    mail.me@reply.to.address says...
    > It's still the best thing available for online help files and books. HTML
    > is vastly less convenient; PDF even less so.


    I wouldn't propose plain HTML files, but CHM (on Windows). Or even the
    mozilla help viewer, though that requires a larger app to load.

    CHM (htmlhelp) integrates index and search just like IPF but has all the
    ability of HTML.

    NewView is largely a copy of HTMLHelp...

    --
    aaronl at consultant dot com
    For every expert, there is an equal and
    opposite expert. - Arthur C. Clarke

  19. Re: IPF tables misaligned

    In article ,
    mail.me@reply.to.address says...
    > It's still the best thing available for online help files and books. HTML
    > is vastly less convenient; PDF even less so.


    I wouldn't propose plain HTML files, but CHM (on Windows). Or even the
    mozilla help viewer, though that requires a larger app to load.

    CHM (htmlhelp) integrates index and search just like IPF but has all the
    ability of HTML.

    NewView is largely a copy of HTMLHelp...

    --
    aaronl at consultant dot com
    For every expert, there is an equal and
    opposite expert. - Arthur C. Clarke

  20. Re: IPF tables misaligned

    In article , nospam-abuse@ilyaz.org
    says...
    > It would be the best *if* there were a decent viewer for it... And,
    > IMO, INFO format comes very close in usability (and features).


    Your standards for "decent" would appear to be unreasonably high ...

    --
    aaronl at consultant dot com
    For every expert, there is an equal and
    opposite expert. - Arthur C. Clarke

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