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Re: [sc-dev] [rfc] alternative documentation format, scwiki

On Nov 27, 2004, at 10:17 AM, stefan kersten wrote:

 i'd really like to get the Document stuff including the
 recent scwiki idea going on linux; emacs is too limited with
 the current asynchronous approach. i've implemented the
 beginnings of a gtk editor that displays RTF files decently
 (well, much better than emacs), but writing an actual RTF
 editing component would be quite a lot of work that could be
 spent elsewhere.

 this has been discussed a few times before, and i think the
 issue could be summarized like so:

 * ASCII is aesthetically inferior
 * HTML is a no no
 * XML is overkill
 * LaTeX too
 * remains RTF

It remains RTF so you can edit styled text directly and copy paste between other apps and open the files in other apps. There is no drop-in WYSIWYG editor for or any other markup format. And even if there was it would not be compatible with other apps on the Mac. If the help files had to be human edited using markup, I think there would be a lot less help.
Linux needs a styled text format. Then rtf could be converted to that.

I agree that styled text is really important. I always wonder though why there is no simple reduced html editor (WYSIWYG) using stylesheets at the head of the document. It would be very portable, and fairly simple.

Imagine TextEdit (and other mac os x apps) would save per default as html. This would make online and offline documentation fully compatible and the document sources would be human readable.