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Re: Why I can't use `info' in emacs?

From: Giorgos Keramidas
Subject: Re: Why I can't use `info' in emacs?
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2006 03:13:21 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.91 (berkeley-unix)

On 18 Dec 2006 03:51:43 -0800,
"Robert Thorpe" <address@hidden> wrote:
>Giorgos Keramidas wrote:
>>On 15 Dec 2006 06:57:13 -0800,
>>"Robert Thorpe" <address@hidden> wrote:
>>>> ,----
>>>> | PRINTF(3)    Linux Programmer's Manual    <snip>
>>>> Surely the man pages are superior in this instance for a programmer?
>>> It depends.  [...]
>>> The man-page is quite thorough in this case, but it is a little
>>> confusing in one respect, It says "Linux Programmer's Manual".  I
>>> have no idea why it says this, since printf is provided by Glibc.
>> That's because man pages are organized in sections.  The section title
>> for manpages in section 3 is "Linux Programmer's Manual" on Linux.  On
>> other systems, section 3 may have a slightly different title.  Here, for
>> instance, on a FreeBSD system, the title is:
>> PRINTF(3)             FreeBSD Library Functions Manual            PRINTF(3)
> I don't agree.  Individual man pages should have titles, not just
> sections of the manual.

I think there may have been a moderate amount of confusion here.  I thought
you didn't know why the header says "Linux Programmer's Manual", not that
you knew all about manpage sections but you disagreed with the content of
the text.

The most commonly used packages for writing manpages are "man" and "mandoc"
these days.  They both provide ways to set the manpage header to a
package-specific string, so if you don't like the Glibc manpage headers,
then maybe it's a good idea to contact teh Glibc authors :)

> In the old days when Unix all came from AT&T it made sense if the man
> page simply announced the purpose of the section, eg "Unix Library
> Function Manual".  This was, I believe the title of section 3 of the
> Unix manual.
> These days in free *nixes have bits coming from all over the place.
> Now it makes sense if the title of the man page reflects the origin of
> the command.  In section 3 of the manual I have Perl docs, libc docs
> and linux docs.  There's probably some other stuff in there I haven't
> mentioned.

Yep.  Agreed 100%.

> The FreeBSD entry is entirely correct, since FreeBSD's libc is
> maintained with FreeBSD.

Since it is up to the manpage author to set the header to something like
"GNU C Library Functions Manual", or even "SDL API Reference", even in
FreeBSD some manpages have the 'wrong' header, by your criteria :-/

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