[TUHS] man-page style

Jon Steinhart jon at fourwinds.com
Sat Nov 17 03:39:58 AEST 2018

Thanks Doug for accidentally starting this thread :-)

I'm a big fan of the "original-style" man pages.  Brevity was really
important when working remote and having to look things up via a
TI Silent 700 at 30 characters per second.

I feel like the GNU project is responsible for destroying the usefulness
of man pages with their "info" stuff.  Nothing more helpful than getting
a man page that says that it's not the man page and that one should look
elsewhere using a different and very clunky program.  Started the decline
of being able to find everything in one place in a consistent manner.

And just to rant, I really hate documentation that begins with how to get,
build, and install software.  I think that most folks looking at docs are
wanting to know how to use it, and having to skip over the least-important
stuff which is first is annoying, especially when one gets past it to
discover that the rest of the doc was never written.

Anyway, the sake of argument, I'm gonna postulate that the more recent,
useless man pages are a sympton of poor software design.  I'll make the
claim that the loss of the "do one thing and do it well and make it
composable" UNIX philosophy is exposed in many of the very complex
utilities with huge numbers of dash options.


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