[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: General complaint about GNU's preference for "info" versus "man"

From: Stepan Kasal
Subject: Re: General complaint about GNU's preference for "info" versus "man"
Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2006 10:31:41 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.4.1i


On Sat, Apr 22, 2006 at 02:29:15PM +0300, Eli Zaretskii wrote:
> > From: Stepan Kasal <address@hidden>
> > [...]  And yes, I use man pages as a reference
> > manual, for the basic explanation of a tool.
> Can you tell why you don't use "info --usage PROGRAM" for the same
> purpose?  Just inertia, or something else?

of course, I don't want to type that.  But I could consider setting ``man''
to ``info --usage''.

At first, I saw that info --usage displays manpages to 80 columns only,
and concluded that ``the info emulation of man is not perfect''.
(That was for a program which doesn't have an info page.)
But it might be an advantage, actually, because it can make the manpage
more readable.

The rest is inertia and prejudices.
For programs which do have info pages, I was afraid that the structure of
the usage node may not match the conventional structure of man pages, and
thus might be less readable for me.

Well, I might consider alias man="info --usage".  I just found out that
instead of "man 5 printcap" one would have to type "man 'printcap(5)'";
that's actually better than the original notation.

But how do I replace ``man -a''?  Could I implement a nightly cron which
updates dir according to present manpages?

> [...] I don't know why
> it's so important to have --help to come from the same source

You are right, this is not important.  The --help is (should be) short,
and it doesn't matter if it is maintained separately.

> [...] (e.g.,
> ask Karl why some options of makeinfo and info are deliberately
> omitted from --help), [...]

But if the --help were extracted from texinfo source, this would have
to be allowed, IMHO.  But you are right, this is not crucial.

To help transition towards info, the following would be needed:
1) the source for ``man'' should be maintained as part of the texinfo
manual, to make sure that it is consistent.
And I'm afraid that a good manpage is not the same as --usage.
But it should be probably possible to create manpage as a
concatenation of several nodes from the texinfo manual.

2) man shouldn't scare people by ``this is not true!''--it should
contain a terse information, but up-to-date.  A mere reference to the
info manual in the SEE ALSO section should be enough.
The reference should work as a hyperlink, if the manpage is read by
the info reader, of course.


reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]