R-alpha: Proposal for a new R doc source format

Friedrich Leisch Friedrich.Leisch@ci.tuwien.ac.at
Thu, 28 Aug 1997 16:14:14 +0200

>>>>> On Thu, 28 Aug 1997 09:13:37 +0200,
>>>>> Martyn Plummer wrote:

> At 17:53 27/08/97, friedrich.leisch@ci.tuwien.ac.at wrote:
>> With help by Kurt and Martin I have written a short proposal for a new
>> R doc source format that should be easier to parse using, e.g.,
>> perl. There should be especially a clearer distinction between text
>> and keywords.

> What happened to the idea of using SGML for the new documentation
> format?

Well, that's not too easy to explain ... first of all Kurt doesn't
like SGML (from his experience writing the FAQ in SGML) and he's my
boss, so I don't like it, too ;-)

More serious reasons:

1) More people writing R code will know LaTeX than SGML, so if we
have a LaTeX-like syntax it should be easier to learn. I want to keep
the new format as close to latex as possible such that it should be
very easy ...

2) Is the SGML-tools output not always really satisfying, and we would
have to extend the existing SGML formats anyway because it doesn't
support everything we want.

3) Is perl definetely on more systems installed than the sgml-tools.

For all this reasons (and some more which I don't remember right now)
I wouldn't like to make an R help system based on SGML, but if you
volunteer ...


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