BHL 1.7.9 review

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bhl is a text formatting and publishing tool

License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
File size: 59K
Developer: Bastien Guerry
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bhl is a text formatting and publishing tool. It is an Emacs mode that provides two kinds of tools: tools for editing a plain text file as an implicitly structured document, and tools for converting this document into other formats: HTML, SGML, LaTeX, Texinfo and TXT.

In order to be readable by bhl, a plain text file must fit some syntactic conventions. This conventions are neither completely universal nor specially odd. They are chosen among the most useful and the most convenient text formatting conventions.

The purpose of this mode is to use the most invisible and convenient syntax. "Invisible syntax" means that the source file must be as readable as possible -- like any plain text file must be. "Convenient syntax" means that it must fit the users' habits.

For example, *word* appears in bold; _word_ appears in emphasis; lists and URLs follow StructuredText or Wiki conventions; the numbering of sections respects logic and intuition. (See section 3. The syntax.)

In short: there is nothing you have to learn to write your documents with the bhl mode (just try, it's true).

bhl is not WYSIWYG since you are only editing text. bhl is not WYSIWYM (like LyX), since what you mean is editing text. So, what is bhl? It is WYSIWYS(IWYS): What You See Is What You See (Is What You See). Editing text is editing text.

Here are some key features of "BHL":
BHL converts plain text to HTML / SGML (Linuxdoc) / Texinfo / LaTeX.
BHL works with GNU Emacs - but is not part of GNU Emacs.
BHL is a free software.
BHL current release is 1.7.3.
BHL uses an implicit and minimalistic syntax, ? la Wiki.
BHL is written by Bastien Guerry.
BHL is currently being rewritten.


Untar the archive like this:

~$ tar zxvf `bhl.tar.gz'

Go to the bhl-*/ directory and set up the `Makefile'. Once this is done, just compile and install like this:

~$ make
~$ make install

If you want to install bhl in your /usr/local/ or /usr/share/ paths, you need to have superuser (i.e. root) permissions. But don't worry: at the end of the install procedure, a message tells you if something has gone wrong.

If you want to generate and install the `' file:

~$ make info
~$ make install-info

If you want the printed manual (PDF):

~$ make pdf

If you want the HTML manual:

~$ make html

If you want to clean up the directory:

~$ make clean

You can add these lines to your `~/.emacs.el':

(autoload 'bhl-mode "bhl" "BHL Mode" t)
(add-to-list 'auto-mode-alist '(".bhl$" . bhl-mode))

The last line enables you to associate a new extension (i.e. .bhl) with the bhl editing mode, so that bhl will automatically be loaded when you open a .bhl ending file.

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