Subject: Re: Suggested change to README.html generation: tables for binaries
To: None <>
From: T. M. Pederson <>
List: tech-pkg
Date: 11/07/1999 09:17:01
On Sun, 7 Nov 1999 09:21:11 -0500 (EST)  wrote:
>On 6 Nov 1999, Nathan J. Williams wrote:
>> I was looking at the README.html for a bunch of packages, and found
>> the list of binary packages to be somewhat annoying to use. It's long,
>> and not sorted by either version or architecture. I figured that a
>> table with versions vs. architectures would be a good way to do this. 
>I had been thinking the same thing.

I've just been thinking that a different layout would be more readable,
but not that a table is necessarily the way to go.

>> The big downside I see to this patch is that it makes the pages much
>> less readable with non-table-aware browsers (Lynx, for example). I
>yeah, this is a fairly big downside.  

There are ways to build tables to make them degrade gracefully, or at
least somewhat gracefully.  I've done this ages ago, so I'll take a
look at this.

>> don't know what we expect the audience of this HTML to be,
>> really. It's been suggested that the people who look for binary
>> packages on a web page and the people who use non-table-aware browsers
>> may be completely disjoint sets.

Data point: I look for binary packages, and I use lynx, Amaya, and
mMosaic.  Which reminds me, I should roll those other two up into
packages...  When I'm actually looking for the binaries, I'm usually
running lynx.

>I'd disagree.  Some of my machines are pretty slow which makes lynx nice
>(plus, on pmax, mac68k, etc, there isn't a decent netscape), its also
>those machines when a quick binary install is quite nice as opposed to a
>long build.  For example, scilab takes 17 hours to compile on my Mac IIci.
>It took me several days to build the packages I usually use on my sparc

I know where you're coming from there, I've got about 100 packages
built between my IPC and my mom's, but her box doesn't have any dev
tools loaded, and is sneaker-netted until I get the phone line run...

>visually, its almost there under lynx anyway, the packages are sorted by
>arch and then by version, you just can't tell which versions you have...
>what about organizing it like:
>	1.4     mpg123-0.59q
>	1.4     mpg123-0.59q
>	1.3.3   mpg123-0.59o
>	1.3     mpg123-0.59k
>its still somewhat long vertically compared to your table, but is sorted
>in a much easier fashion than the current approach.

Kinda, sorta like a Definition List, only not. :-)  Something like
this could be done with nested <ul>s, but not mixed with a table.
So something like:

* alpha:
  - 1.4 mpg123-0.59q
* amiga:
  - 1.4 mpg123-0.59q
  - 1.3.3 mpg123-0.59o
  - 1.3 mpg123-0.59k

Filler (like &nbsp;) in the version field could keep things to fixed
width, but I'm not sure that's the Right Way to do it.

Must go think about this (and do backups, feh).
T. M. Pederson