[TUHS] man-page style

Grant Taylor gtaylor at tnetconsulting.net
Sat Nov 17 04:16:18 AEST 2018

On 11/16/2018 09:55 AM, Paul Winalski wrote:
> I agree with Grant.


> If you want to know what a particular command does and what its options 
> are, man pages are fantastic.


Though, some man pages can still feel overwhelming.  Bash and Zsh (full) 
man pages come to mind.

> 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.

I tend to equate it to trying to learn to program (read: logic behind 
programming) and a given languages (read: syntax, structure, idioms, 
etc) at the same time, you're functionally dealing with two 
interconnected variables in an equation that are almost inseparable.

You almost need to learn other languages to start isolating the the 
logic from the syntax by replacing the syntax with different syntax.

IMHO it's a LOT easier to have an idea what you want to do and then find 
out how to do it than trying to do both at the same time.

> 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.

I like the sound of that as I start dabbling with OpenVMS.  :-)

I've always liked to find some how-to / tutorials as a starting place to 
give broad overviews and then quickly migrate to and supplement with man 
pages to learn command specifics and behavior.  The how-to provides the 
logic and the man pages provide the syntax.

Grant. . . .
unix || die

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