[TUHS] man-page style

Paul Winalski paul.winalski at gmail.com
Sat Nov 17 02:55:28 AEST 2018

On 11/16/18, Grant Taylor via TUHS <tuhs at minnie.tuhs.org> wrote:
> On 11/15/2018 10:32 PM, Dave Horsfall wrote:
>> The Unix manpage format is the epitome of perfection; they tell you
>> everything you need to know, and in the right order.  Frequently I
>> cannot recall a particular flag (but I know what it does), and it's
>> right there at the start.
> I think man pages make a great reference.  But I don't think they are a
> good teaching source for someone that doesn't know the material or what
> the components are for.
I agree with Grant.  If you want to know what a particular command
does and what its options are, man pages are fantastic.  If you are a
new or casual user trying to find out what command(s) to use to
accomplish a particular task, the man pages are an exercise in
frustration and futility.  Other OSes have done a better job in that
area (the VMS and DTSS HELP commands come to mind).  IMO ideally one
should have both--a generalized "help" command for those trying to
find out what command to use, and "man" as reference material.  UNIX
and Linux have never had a proper help facility.  Or at least I never
was able to find it.

-Paul W.

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