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lynx-dev LYNX: time for dkcombs to do some lynx work! (again)

From: David Combs
Subject: lynx-dev LYNX: time for dkcombs to do some lynx work! (again)
Date: Mon, 6 Dec 1999 22:14:21 -0800 (PST)

Since readers thought I meant the MAN page, 
whereas I meant the "USER MANUAL", I resend this:


No, I don't want to start trying to learn the sources,
nor to get good in C (I don't use C, but rather a totally
unknown (but really really cool language, Mainsail, nee
out of SAIL, Stanford's once competitor to lisp for AI work;
but does have a REAL garbage collector (collects cycles too,
thank god!)).

(1) What I can do is to work on the lynx manual.

I just typed out the one listed at the lynx site,
2.8.2 I think, and see lots of "English Style" things that
need fixing.

I also read on this list that various people are making
changes to a newer edition.

(2) Of course I'll wait until the current batches of 
modifications have been done, and the file has quieted down.


(3) What's the thing written in?  Tex, I suppose?  Or maybe Texinfo?
Nroff?  (I hope not!)
Or what? (I haven't looked yet).  Whatever it is, I'll have
to learn it.


(4) What's the approved way of making changes, and getting them
"approved" by the list-readers?

(5) Also, maybe someone can send me the usual gnu-diff 
command-string that this group generally uses for such purposes.


(6) Also, is there some way to create for the source-version 
a macro or command eg of the type I create for myself
when I write stuff in "Scribe" (originally someone's Phd
thesis at CMU back in the late 70's, and (updated) widely
used by a loyal bunch of .edu-sites (cs depts),
whereby I can insert into the text eg:

Now is the time for all good men @fixme[Don't we want
to say "people", instead of just "men"?] to come to
the aid of their country ...

Which macro "fixme(...)" can be redefined, if desired,
to generate NO TEXT AT ALL, as it were never inserted at all,
but when "in effect" would produce, perhaps in bold or
red or whatever, that suggestion about "people".

Something simple to use like that, rather than some
complex multi-line conditional-assembly sequence of instructions.

That would make it a lot easier to suggest things before actually
doing them...

My abilities?  Well, I'm just a programmer, but I do like
studying English Style; I do keep a Fowler (2nd!, not the horrible
new one) in the "throne room" (which is where I get 
most of my reading done!)  Plus lots of other such books too.


(7) Am not so great at writing (witness this!), but AM a lot better 
at editing OTHER people's stuff.

I do have my own fetishes, eg:

.  a, b, and c  (note the comma after "b")
.  Moving "only" to the right, often WAY to the right,
    so it visibly modifies what it's intended to modify.
.  Changing "may" to "might" or to "is allowed to", to make
     it clear what's intended (often have to ask the author
     what IS meant!)
.  "that" vs "which": "which", 99% of the time, must follow
     a comma, THAT fact requiring that one must first get the 
     COMMAS done correctly.
.   For those of you who have an emacs-lisp manual, look in
     the appendix on rms's "style guide".  Some pretty good
     ideas there, especially for a language-manual, which
     that of course is (computer language, that is).
     Probably applies to lynx, too.
.   Active voice.
.   Lots of other things.

At least my doing it will get us TALKING about these things.


Ideas?  Suggestions?  Comments?


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