[fpc-devel]documentation snapshot

Marco van de Voort marcov at stack.nl
Sun Sep 24 23:49:44 CEST 2000

> I know that Michael (slightly?) prefers pdf ('deprecation' of the html
> version seems a bit strong!), but on a windoze system html version is much
> better for navigation around docs using ones web browser ... so tho'
> quality, as you put it, isn't so good it's certainly preferable for me and,
> I guess the non trivial nos of fpc users (especially new ones) who have
> windoze.

First: I agree with Michael, and I also tested building the docs. The 
PDF docs look at least ten times better, are easier generated usually 
without the slightest fault in the conversion (only errors in the original 
source trigger errors in the output), and nearly every driver CD 
contains Adobe Reader nowadays, so that accessability is also not 
a problem. (besides IMHO an HTML browser is also still an add on, 
and not an OS-subsystem, even if M$ tries to convince you)

Actually We would prefer to have both (and more) versions. 
The real problem is that the HTML conversion (as Michael said) is 
problematic. Creating LaTex to HTML converters is not our core 
"business", (and the script that does it is over 1 MB, so it isn't 
something you do overnight)

We will keep trying to improve the HTML docs, but don't expect 
dramatic improvements. Latex2HTML is too problematic, and the 
docs size are too big for that.

We simply need PDF for its quality, printability etc, and HTML for its 
non GUI features:
e.g. as helpfile in the IDE and I also use the HTML version from time 
to time on the *nix commandline. (GUI's are a waste of expensive 
memory :-)

> I didn't mention daily snapshots just one every month or so eg one about
> now...so users could use & make comments on the latest version and not one
> that is too long out of date & of course, based on comments above I'd favour
> doing a 'snapshot' of html (as well as pdf etc) - I'd do it myself if html
> doc gen worked in windoze. 

Next week I hope to get unmetered access, and I'll try to setup such 
> The documentation is good in fpc (for which you should all be congratulated)
> & imo, it's very as important to improve it & keep it up to date - don't
> forget that for non developers or non gurus it's even more important.

You don't have to be a guru to install adobe reader, nor its 
. In fact it is simpler than messing with either Netscape or IE.

Marco van de Voort (MarcoV at Stack.nl or marco at freepascal.org)

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