Subject: Re: bin/7249
To: Mike Cheponis <mac@Wireless.Com>
From: Greywolf <>
List: tech-kern
Date: 07/17/2000 17:57:10
On Mon, 17 Jul 2000, Mike Cheponis wrote:

# >The concept of man pages is not
# > broken IMHO, so it doesn't need fixing. And what if the man page you
# > want to read is for the web browser that you can't get to start or
# > display man pages properly? Putting all the man pages into HTML (and
# > only HTML) is about as sensible as putting them all into Word
# > format. In fact, Word format would be slightly better in some respects
# > because it does have some (admittedly flawed) concepts for supporting
# > document structure.
# FWIW, all Microsoft DDK documentation is in HTML.

And your point is *what*, exactly?  The entire microsoft concoction is
so irrevocably linked to a GUI that if the system were to suddenly be
only available in CLI mode, it wouldn't be usable.

UNIX, thank the Gods, does NOT suffer from this malady, not even in
the relatively minor form you are seeking to inflict upon it.

# > Note that I'm not against the idea of offering an HTML capability.
# > But this should be an extension - not a replacement! -  to the current
# > documentation that has served us so well for so long. If man pages
# > were good enough for Ken & Dennis, they should be good enough for you
# > and me.
# If it was good enough for Ken and Dennis 30 years ago, is it -still- good
# enough for Ken and Dennis -today- ?

It's small.  It's reliable.  You can always use a formatter to go to,
as i posted earlier, a higher level. _You_ _must_ _expend_ _more_ _effort_
_to_ _convert_ _from_ _one_ _high_ _level_ _format_ _to_ _another_, than
you would need to do _if_ _you_ _started_ _from_ _a_ _lower_ _level.

Your point of having a specialized lynxalike just on hand to read man
pages is blinking ludicrous, and IMNSHO, unacfsckingceptable.

Just how far down do you want to dumb things, Mike?

# > Someone once said that if the only tool you had was a hammer, every
# > problem would look like a nail. Well, UNIX systems have more tools
# > available than a just web browser.
# I'm afraid I don't understand this at all.

Clue:  Don't htmlize things by fiat.  Make it AN EXTENSION (hey, what
a novel concept, giving users/administrators *options* on their config-
urations), an OPTION.

$ ls -l /usr/bin/groff /usr/bin/more /usr/bin/eqn /usr/local/bin/lynx \
> /usr/bin/tbl
-r-xr-xr-x  1 root  wheel   100628 Feb 12 10:57 /usr/bin/eqn
-r-xr-xr-x  1 root  wheel    50984 Feb 12 10:57 /usr/bin/groff
-r-xr-xr-x  3 root  wheel    73296 Feb 12 10:32 /usr/bin/more
-r-xr-xr-x  1 root  wheel    80800 Feb 12 10:57 /usr/bin/tbl
-r-xr-xr-x  1 root  wheel  1016416 Jun 17 21:05 /usr/local/bin/lynx
$ size /usr/bin/eqn /usr/bin/groff /usr/bin/more /usr/bin/tbl \
> /usr/local/bin/lynx
text	data	bss	dec	hex	filename
79323  	18720  	3668   	101711 	18d4f  	/usr/bin/eqn
41345  	7412   	3672   	52429  	cccd   	/usr/bin/groff
68158  	3000   	9212   	80370  	139f2  	/usr/bin/more
71315  	7292   	1832   	80439  	13a37  	/usr/bin/tbl
925330 	87768  	136716 	1149814	118b76 	/usr/local/bin/lynx

Which one do YOU think is a wiser use of resources?   (This might be a
straw man, but it seemed relevant to me:  Note that the first four programs,
both in disk size and load size, even added up, do not add up to the bulk
of lynx.)

It'd be bloatware.  If I want followable man links and the like, I can
always grab tkman.  Or we can write a supplemental tmac package, tmac.anhtml,
to augment the man pages and generate them into a separate hierarchy.

# -Mike

BSD has historically been a very clean layout compared to the fettucine
alfredo which is Linux.  If you are going to insist on putting lynx,
even stripped down, in /usr/bin, I'll suggest you find an alternate play-
ground on which to do your dealing, because from my POV as a BSD user
long enough to border on cretaceous, bells and whistles on a stock system
are just that and no more.  They should not be relied upon, as nice as
they are when they are there.

BSD: Network Your World.