Documentation format

Robert J. Hansen rjh at
Sat Feb 6 13:08:50 CET 2016

Since I seem to have become the doyen of documentation, I figure I
should ask: what markup language and/or output formats should we be
pursuing for future documentation work?

The FAQ is currently written up in orgmode, which Werner is fond of.
What you see on the web is orgmode-text put through an HTML translator.
 But, it also produces lousy print output.

The FSF is really fond of their own standard, texinfo, which they prefer
to be used for hardcopy and online documentation.  I personally don't
like texinfo; some people really like it.  In its favor, it produces
high-quality print output.  It actually looks like a book when you print
it off.

I'm a big fan of LaTeX and PDF output.  With a good layout package (like
Tufte-Latex) you can get astonishing print quality and
professional-looking layout.  However, this comes at the expense of good
HTML support.  You'd have a hard time reading these docs on mobile
devices, or at a text-only terminal that had no PDF reader.

Another option: Open Document.  For obvious reasons we can't choose
Microsoft Word, but there are no liberty-related reasons to avoid Open

Does anyone have any particular preferences?

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