[TUHS] earliest Unix roff

Jon Steinhart jon at fourwinds.com
Tue Sep 17 03:37:03 AEST 2019

KatolaZ writes:
> 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
> culture.
> 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.
> My2Cents
> Enzo Nicosia

It seems to me that you're missing the point here.  It's not a question of
whether or not GNU programs have good documentation.  It's the fact that
GNU made it hard to find documentation because they took one pile and split
it into two with no guide to what was in each pile.  It's not that their
documentation was good or bad, it's that they made it hard to find any

Maybe it's because I'm a child of the 60s, but I'm with Arlo Guthrie on this
one (from Alice's Restaurant): "And we decided that one big pile is better
than two little piles, and rather than bring that one up we decided to throw
ours down."


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