Martin Baker wrote:
> In order to complete the recent changes to computation.spad I have 
> updated the documentation to match the code changes.

> Issues:
> 1) Is it possible to suppress automatic insertion of spaces around colon 
> and commas in literate parts of the file?

This was one time change.  

> 2) Am I wasting my time doing stuff on literate code?
> This is not a big deal for me. I will continue doing the literate 
> version if you think it worthwhile but, if not, its better not to waste 
> my (and your) time.
> Usually I first produce documentation in HTML and put it on my website. 
> I then copy it into code file, this copy is inferior to the HTML version 
> because it does not have diagrams.

What do you use to create diagrams?  In other words: what is the
sorce code of your diagrams?

> So why not just rely on the online documentation?

Well, I prefer to be independent of network if possible.
Network have unpredictable performance, may be not available
at all.  There are also securtity problems which vanish
if tere is no network connection.  So it good to have
standalone documentation.

Another aspect is conceptual and technical integrity.
Online documentation fits well to distributed/decentralized
model where various pieces are developed independently.
This has advantages, allowing various approches and
creating diverse points of view.  But it also leads to
replication and bloat.  And it makes harder to find
relevant correct documentation.  So it makes sense to
develop core documentation in more coordinated way,
trying to use common style and common tools.
Unfortunately, in the past it was hard to reach
agreement what the common approach should be.
There is documentation by original authors in
HyperDoc format.  There were proposal to use literate
style, putting documentation together with source
code.  Original authors already have kind of
"literate" provision, by using '++' comments.
Information from  '++' comments is than shown
by HyperDoc.  The later literate proposal
wanted to use noweb, using special markup to
distinguish between code and markup.  There is
Axiom Wiki which tried to be a place for
collaborative developement of documentationn.

There are also folks that do things in their own
way:  Arthur Ralfs translated Axiom book to Math ML,
there are things which are Web only.

I personally prefer to follow original authors: use
++ comments and HyperDoc format for documentation.
Of course HyperDoc the program is dated.  However
HyperDoc format has several advantages:

- it is a (small) subset of Latex, so it is natural
  for many mathematicians
- it is simple restricted format, so it can be converted
  to other formats with relatively little effort
- we already have substantial body of documentation in
  this format and toolchain to process it, in particular
  it automatically inserts results of examples into

IMO ability to produce different renderings (versions)
of documentation is important.

Coming back to your question about literate documentation:
IMO literate approach was a mistake.  Documentation in
separate files is easier to handle and works better.
OTOH literate documentation is clearly much better
than no documentation at all.  I will try to convert
parts of your documentation to HyperDoc, we will see
how it works.

> It would be really good if Fricas IO could be the hub for all the 
> various types of online documentation for all categories, domains, etc. 
> If there were to be a standardised way to embed URLs in ++ comments like 
> this:
> ++ Author: Martin Baker
> ++ Date Created: March 2011
> ++ Basic Operations:
> ++ Related Constructors:
> ++ Also See:
> ++ AMS Classifications:
> ++ Keywords:
> ++ Reference: 
> ++ Tutorial: 
> ++ An implementation of untyped lambda-calculus
> Then Fricas IO might be able to pick up the URLs and generate links that 
> users would see when they were browsing this domain.

Well, in TeX/LaTeX "standard" is '\url{http://....}'.  But Fricas IO
is creation of Ralf Hemmecke so it up to him...

                              Waldek Hebisch

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