[Doc-SIG] On David Ascher's Rant

Edward Welbourne Edward Welbourne <eddyw@lsl.co.uk>
Mon, 29 Nov 1999 11:42:48 +0000

>> 1) ... moving from LaTeX ... is a great idea ... Fred is doing a
>>    beautiful job ... thankless task.
> I second that.
Yup, one problem with silent majorities is a failure to say Thank You.

> I don't think people will start to write TeX in their docstrings...
Nope.  Even those of us with fond memories of it.

> IMHO, a clean plain text approach ...
and in my downright intemperate and opinionated arrogance there can be
no decent documentation format *but* plain text.  Everything else just
leads to mess, confusion and demands for `extensions' to support things
that ... oh sod it, you're all smart enough to understand the analogy:
the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

> BTW, in case someone cares
Yay, another doc format ;*}
It contributes to the pool of fragments that'll go into the final recipe
and I bet Marc-Andre can write a trivial tool that parses *his* format
into whatever we settle on, so won't mind a bit if it doesn't look like
it.  Each of us can handle our own transitions just as soon as we agree
on a common target ...

> ... they first try to prove NP-completeness rather than ...
no, it's worse than that - we try to work out what would be needed for
Turing completeness while trying to keep it straightforward but are so
busy thinking about whether we can prove NP-complete that we end up
digressing indefinitely.

> Are you serious about the above ???

Of course he was - it was a perfectly serious straw man (and so well
designed for knocking down that you'd done it before you needed to).
He's showing you how bad it would all look if we did things that way.

I actually *like* HTML and used it in my doc strings for a while, but it
just looked wrong and ugly and it was cumbersome and just plain *not*
the right answer.

Why do folk have to say so much during the weekend when I'm not looking ?
Eventually I'll catch up with this proposal of David's that Tony says is
further down the list ...

Oh, and for the record, I refuse to accept David's apology for the rant.
I can't accept an apology for something and
 a) be grateful for
 b) admire
it at the same time,