[TUHS] earliest Unix roff

KatolaZ katolaz at freaknet.org
Tue Sep 17 03:19:05 AEST 2019

On Mon, Sep 16, 2019 at 09:45:02AM -0700, Larry McVoy wrote:


> Those who defend the choice of info over man just aren't real Unix
> people.  And that's fine, Unix isn't the only choice, they can go
> run some other OS and be happy.  But it's just rude to thrust info
> into a Unix system.  And lame because they could have parsed man
> pages into info docs and then they are adopting the Unix way of
> doing things and actually adding value.

Sorry, but I totally don't see the point here. The problem is not the
technology, but the adopters. I personally don't like info at all, and
still swear whenever a software comes without a proper manpage, but
info has not been shovelled down your throat (or anybody else's, for
that matter). The adopters have decided that info was fine for their
use case. They could have written manpages and send patches over, and
in many cases they didn't.

There is plenty of software coming from the GNU project that has
comprehensive and clear manpages (just to cite a single example,
bash(1) comes with manpages, and no info doc). At the same time, there
is tons of "Unix" software around that comes without any documentation
*at all*, or with scant text files covering the bare basics.

Unfortunately this trend is only getting worse, and we have far too
many notaable examples here, not all of them coming from the GNU
project, or from the "ITS tradition", whatever it means for you.

I agree that whoever does not produce a readily usable documentaion
for their software has not really understood much of the Unix
philosophy. But that's not at all a matter of formats, rather of

Then, if you just want to vomit on info, or you prefer to use info as
another excuse to vomit on the GNU project, well go ahead. But the
actual issue is elsewhere (the lack of respect for the users, and the
tendency to hide stuff under the carpet), and has not been introduced
by the GNU project, at all.


Enzo Nicosia
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