Access to the File

The Jargon File is available for browsing here, or as a single HTML file.

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 Yet 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 slightly hacked variant of texinfo 3.12i, with the HTML output postprocessed by custom Perl. (This is actually a big improvement over the pre-4.1.2 setup, which involved a heavily modified version of texi2html.)

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. We're working with the Texinfo maintainers towards this goal.

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 <>