Getting rid of control characters in xnc.hlp


I often receive requests to put patches on the ftp server along with the
snapshots.  I'm concerned that we have some binary files that can be
corrupted in the patch.

The complete tarball has the following binary files:

1) pc/mc_nt.ico - not likely to change.
2) po/*.gmo - should be skipped in diff, whoever cares can install gettext
3) doc/xnc.hlp and its translations.  That's what needs to be improved.
4) doc/hu/ - skip, most users don't care if it changes.

I'm quite sure that GNU diff and GNU patch can handle xnc.hlp, but I'm
less confident about other variants of the patch utility.

Another reason to make xnc.hlp pure text is that it's unreasonable to 
expect all translators to use editors that support control characters and 
leave them intact.

I suggest that we introduce some text tags instead of the control
characters.  Maybe it should be HTML-style tags.  We could base them on 
the definitions from help.h, but remove "CHAR_":

'\01' <NODE_END>
'\02' <LINK_START>
'\04' <LINK_END>
and so on.

An interesting question is where those tags should be converted.  If we do 
it in man2hlp, mc.hlp would be still binary.  If we do it in mc itself, 
mc.hlp would be a text file, but that would add some code to mc.

Any comments?  Better ideas?

Pavel Roskin

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