[nSLUG] pet peeves

D G Teed donald.teed at gmail.com
Tue Jun 27 09:45:09 ADT 2006


Sometimes there is a movement towards something and there
is no where to complain or file a bug report.  Then all you have
left is letting others know your pet peeves and hope
the news travels.

Today I've been reminded of a pet peeve I have...

man pages have become obsoleted by info in some cases,
while man is better for quick option flag lookups.

Starting many years ago I noticed a man on a command would
exist but point me to use of info.  I've tried info but I don't like it.
info forces me to hunt and peck by category of information,
while in the man page all option flags were listed in
alphabetical order.  Info is like the new Control Panel of
Windows XP - I always switch that to classic view.
Man uses a pager I already know. Info has its own bunch
of commands to master, which I never have the time
to do when I need a man page!

In my opinion, info is not superior to man pages.  I challenge
any supporter of info pages to find where -o and -h are
documented for tar.  It takes 5 seconds to locate this from man.
Google is quicker to use than info, unless one spends hours
using info and knows it by heart, which is never going
to happen for someone like me.

It comes down to the old adage "if it ain't broken,
don't fix it".  Man was great the way it was for documenting
typical unix commands.  It probably can't document stuff
like troff and gcc well enough, but that is where /usr/share/doc
and HTML can come in.  We don't need a big solution for
those 5% of man pages which makes use of the other 95%
cumbersome.

I might be ranting here, but I don't have a blog.

Maybe others have peeves like this - changes of tides that
come from a personless and originless mass of opinion
and make no sense.

--Donald

!DSPAM:44a12858107211431912080!




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