[TUHS] man-page style

Theodore Y. Ts'o tytso at mit.edu
Sun Nov 18 10:40:20 AEST 2018

On Sat, Nov 17, 2018 at 11:38:32PM +0000, Ralph Corderoy wrote:
> From somewhere that didn't fit in well with Unix.
> Its saving grace is piping info(1) made it just dump all the text,
> skipping its UI, e.g.  `info gcc | less'.  Because it used to print
> formatting progress to stderr!?, it used to need less's `G' then `g' to
> skip to the end, getting all the formatting work out of the way, and
> then back to the start to redraw the screen, dumping the stderr.

There is a place for quick reference guides, and a place for a
full-fledged manual, and very often both are available.  So people who
are comparing, unfavorably, man pages and info files, are really
comparing apples and oranges.  (Or perhaps, just enjoy trying to tell
info files to get off their lawn.  :-)

If you think the *contents* of the info file are terrible, then
presumably you would also object to BSD's Programmer's Supplementary
Documents (PSD), User Supplmenetary Documents (USD), or System
Manager's Manual (SMM).

And if it's just that you hate hypertext, that's just the formatting,
and it's quite possible to convert the formatting into your choice of
text, PDF, HTML, ePub, etc.  You can take the source file for the info
file, called the texinfo file, and process it using TeX to generate a
dead-tree version of the file.  Or you can convert the texinfo file to
HTML, for thsoe who like browsers.  Or further convert the HTML to
ePub and then you can read it in your favorite eBook reader.


					- Ted

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