Welcome to the HTML based documentation for GENPLOT and RUMP. It is hoped that this new documentation format will improve our ability to keep the documentation somewhat up to date with the rapidly changing code, as well as provide a more powerful source of information for the end user. The advent of HTML browsers on a wide variety of machine architectures (UNIX, OS/2, Windoze) has dramatically reduced the difficulty of producing comprehensive on-line documentation. The hard-copy manual used to serve this purpose, but a separate on-line documentation database was also needed for quick reference. Either one or the other was inevitably behind and recently the activation barrier to revising the entire 300+ page manual to version 2.0 was so formidable as to be unlikely.
The layout of the HTML manual very much parallels the old hard copy manual. A table of contents remains always on the left and divides the manual into block segments; each segment is further expanded when it is opened providing at least one further level of indexing.
Each "page" of the document corresponds roughly to a chapter of the manual; chapters are internally marked to provide rapid access to specific commands. This relatively large granularity was chosen specifically to mimic a book. I often find myself wanting to "browse" a manual looking for a related command or just to see what is possible with a program. This granularity provides this ability by keeping related commands on a single HTML document - no need to go back and forth between half a dozen different pages.
There is one major disadvantage to this approach. Current bookmarking in Netscape Navigator does not handle frames well and only the major divisions can be physically marked. However, since no command is more than two levels down, this hopefully will not be a major frustration.