Access to the File
The Jargon File is available for browsing here;
with frames or
You can download an installable HTML
tarball from here.
You can download a flat-text version, with
headwords and references bracketed by colons, from here. Yes, the
filling/justification is badly done, with lots of rivers (makeinfo is
less good at this than the Emacs Lisp code used in older versions).
No, we don't care; we're trying to phase out this format.
Unfortunately, the Jargon File is far too big to email. Requests that
we mail it will be ignored. Also note that the Info version has been
phased out; it's an HTML world now.
In the future we hope to offer an SGML/XML version suitable for
serious database work.
Why The Texinfo Masters Aren't Available
Some people have wondered why the Texinfo masters aren't available for
download. The problem isn't the masters themselves but the
surrounding toolset, which the editors don't want to have to support
for other people. The masters are presently maintained in a
rather hacked variant of texinfo 3.12f, with the HTML output
postprocessed by custom Emacs Lisp. Once we are able to migrate this
thing to either stock Texinfo or an SGML/XML markup, the masters and
the rendering tools will be made available here.
Why There Are No diff Files
Many people have asked why I don't release diff files for new versions, so
people can avoid having to FTP or uucp-fetch the whole thing each time. It's
because diffs tend to lose the actual semantic changes in a lot of noise
resulting from very low-level tweaks (typo fixes, re-justifications, etc.).
This bulks the diffs up to the point where I don't think they're enough smaller
than the File itself to justify the hassle costs of issuing or using them.
Eric S. Raymond <firstname.lastname@example.org>