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Date:   Mon, 6 Sep 2021 16:41:43 +0200
From:   Markus Heiser <markus.heiser@...marit.de>
To:     Jonathan Corbet <corbet@....net>, Akira Yokosawa <akiyks@...il.com>
Cc:     jack@...e.cz, linux-doc@...r.kernel.org,
        linux-ext4@...r.kernel.org, tytso@....edu,
        Mauro Carvalho Chehab <mchehab@...nel.org>
Subject: Re: [PATCH 1/2] ext4: docs: switch away from list-table

Am 06.09.21 um 16:17 schrieb Jonathan Corbet:
> Markus Heiser <markus.heiser@...marit.de> writes:
> 
>> We prefer list tables ...
>>
>> """Their advantage is that they are easy to create or modify and that the
>> diff of a modification is much more meaningful, because it is limited to
>> the modified content."""
>>
>> By example: We have some very large tables with tons of rows and cols.
>> If you need to extend one column just by one character you have to edit
>> the whole table and the diff is not readable.
>>
>> It is not limited to big tables, e.g. if you patch a simple typo,
>> you might need touch content not related to your fix.
>>
>> At the end it is a trade of, what weights more, readability of the
>> plain text or readability of the patch / most often I would vote
>> for the latter.
> 
> If the documentation is of any use of all there will be a lot more
> people reading it than will be reading patches making tweaks to it.
> Optimizing for patch readability seems like the wrong focus to me.
> 
> The ext4 folks can decide what they like best in this specific case.
> But I think that the advice in favor of list tables is wrong in the
> general case; they are completely unreadable in their source form, and
> that goes against one of the key reasons we adopted RST in the first
> place.
> 
> Somebody will surely try to add a list table to the wrong document
> someday and I'll get to live through another one of those nifty
> explosions - and I'll have neither reasons nor motivation to defend that
> policy.

I do not see a problem changing the policy to use pre-formated tables.

@jon do you like to fix the "list tables" section of doc-guide/sphinx.rst

Thanks,

Markus

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