[TUHS] man-page style

Jon Steinhart jon at fourwinds.com
Mon Nov 19 13:11:13 AEST 2018

Chet Ramey writes:
> On 11/16/18 4:13 PM, Jon Steinhart wrote:
> > But really the issue is that info introduced a new interface on a system
> > that already had one that people were accustomed to.
> Improvement is in the eye of the beholder. RMS and other folks consider
> info, with its hyperlinks, indexes, and tree-based navigation the superior
> alternative.  Not just different, but better.

Well, of course it is.  And as long as one doesn't care much about existing
community one can do what one wants.  Sort of like Americans expecting others
to speak to them in English when they travel instead of understanding that
they're in a different environment and it makes more sense to learn the culture
as it's unlikely that everybody is gonna change just for you.  This is not a
unique problem with man vs info.  I see it in the large number of different
make utilities, package managers, and so on that really don't provide new
functionality but do make it much harder to be a practicioner since one has a
lot more stuff to learn for no real benefit.

So were it me, I would have looked at the current culture in the UNIX environment
and figured out how it gracefully extend it for new functionality.  To me, that's
a mark of good engineering instead of being a bull in a china shop.  A good example
of that in a different field is the way in which FM stereo was finessed in such a
way as to not break existing mono receivers.  Would have been easy to just toss it
and make everybody buy new gear, but I prefer the more elegant solution.


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