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Re: Google of Summer of Code '17

From: Gavin Smith
Subject: Re: Google of Summer of Code '17
Date: Sat, 4 Feb 2017 18:21:18 +0000

Here's text to be used for advertising possible projects to be done on
Texinfo for Google Summer of Code.

I wasn't sure if adding new output formats would be enough work, so I
tried not to imply that that would have to be a single project. A GSoC
project could cover ideas under one or both headings.

GNU documentation is based on the Texinfo source format (conceptually similar to markdown, but better for documentation). There are tools to convert Texinfo into various formats, including PDF, HTML, and Info format. The Info format is used for reading the documentation in a terminal emulator (using the info program) or in the emacs editor.

The tasks below might be worthwhile. If you are interested in working on a project covering some of these (or if you have other ideas for a project) we encourage you to discuss your ideas by contacting either the project mailing list, or the potential mentors (email addresses for these are given below). This will help you to understand the motivation behind these tasks, and give you an idea of what you would need to do to make progress in working on them.

(1) Add new output formats to makeinfo.

Enhance the Perl-based makeinfo program with new output formats xhtml and/or EPub. The xhtml format combines aspects of the existing html and xml formats. The EPub format (used by ebook readers) is basically just xhtml in a zip archive.

(2) _javascript_ for info-style navigation

The info program is very bare-bones (no fonts or images). On the other hand, the info program has a number of conveniences for browsing documentation, and the keyboard-centric user interface is very efficient.

Desirable features of the info program that we would like to replicate in _javascript_ include:

You would achieve this by writing logic and event handlers in _javascript_. You may also want to change how the Texinfo tools generate HTML so the HTML is easier to work with. See (1) above.

There is an existing _javascript_ library for texinfo-generated html/xhtml files. You might want to to enhance this with a keystroke shortcuts (using the standalone info program as a model), including searching through the document.

You may wish to implement other features. One example is to generate a navigation bar on-the-fly. For example see the Kawa homepage, which is generated from Texinfo, but goes through some extra complex processing. It would be nice if it could be done in _javascript_ and CSS.

Another example is a feature to search a manual with regular expressions, or to search only within a particular chapter or section of the manual.

Contact: address@hidden
Mentors: Per Bothner, Gavin Smith

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