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.

You can also download a copy of the Jargon File masters and the production tools used to generate HTML and TeX versions.

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 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 <>