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Re: [Groff] Section 9 manpages

From: Clarke Echols
Subject: Re: [Groff] Section 9 manpages
Date: Fri, 18 Jun 2004 14:48:26 -0600

Back in my HP-UX Reference manpage days (1985-1992), Section 9 was
the "Glossary".  Came from an AT&T convention if memory serves me
correctly.  I don't suppose there is anything preventing creating a
man10, man11, etc., but I don't know of any iron-clad conventions that
could be relied on as a guideline.  Section 8 and 1m were used for
sys-admin commands (utilities); which was used depended on whether
you were looking at a BSD system or an AT&T system.  This was back
in the days when AT&T's TV advertising had the slogan, "AT&T, the
*right* answer."  My retort was, after looking at the inconsistencies
and missing information in their manpages that, "AT&T is definitely
*not* the right answer." :-)  The typographical conventions in the
old AT&T manpages were atrocious.  The heading of the page had the
utility/function/page name in uppercase, the SYNOPSIS had the syntax
in bold (including arguments/variables? -- don't recall but I hope not),
and in text, the name was in italics.  If the command name was the
first word in a sentence, it was capitalized.  So for the cp/mv/ln(1)
manpage (all three in one manual entry), the top of the page had
CP(1), the synopsis had in bold "cp", and the start of a sentence
in the DESCRIPTION section used "Cp".  Now imagine the poor sucker
who's using this for the first time, and you can understand the
comment card I got from a man in Japan who said something like, "I
typed in "Cp", and got back the message "Command not found".  It
really stirred up a fuss when I decided to force consistency (without
a committee to "approve" it) so that the name in the heading was
"cp(1)", cp (in Courier) in the SYNOPSIS, and "cp" (also in Courier)
at the start of a sentence.


Meg McRoberts wrote:
> Hi all,
> Section 9 of the Linux manpage scheme is reserved for "kernel
> interfaces" or some such.  Has anyone ever seen a Section 9
> manpage or know anything about them?
> Thanks,
> Meg
> _______________________________________________
> Groff maillist  -  address@hidden

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