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Re: [Groff] The future redux

From: Ralph Corderoy
Subject: Re: [Groff] The future redux
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2014 13:19:14 +0000

Hi Walter,

> Man pages are not tutorials or complete manuals

Yes they are, or should be.  They used to be.  I learnt Perl 4 from
perl(1).  Back then it was a single long man page, well-written by an
experienced Unix hand, Larry Wall.  I learnt ed and sed the same way
many years before that.  And lex, yacc, etc.  There was no Internet
access, no Usenet access.  There was _The Unix Programming Environment_
which, coming from K&R, was how I learnt Unix existed.  Books on Unix
meant a train journey to a specialist university bookshop.  Later at
work, Sun's printed man pages and a volume on papers were read cover to
cover.  They were how Unix was learnt by many because the man pages
aimed to be complete references.

GNU has a lot to answer for in ditching man pages.  Debian have a policy
of providing them, which is good, but they're often just a list of
options, --help-like, to tick a `no man page' bug report.

> Seriously guys, you need a big dose of Common Sense.

Your tone comes across as offensive on this polite mailing list.  It
detracts from any argument you may wish to make.

Cheers, Ralph.

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