Subject: Re: bin/7249
To: Mike Cheponis <mac@Wireless.Com>
From: Greywolf <>
List: tech-kern
Date: 07/17/2000 17:38:14
On Mon, 17 Jul 2000, Mike Cheponis wrote:

# If the man pages were html, with links to deeper documentation levels (even 
# automatically generated documentation), that would be better.

Sure.  EVERYone can run an X connection through their firewall, right?

# I'm not trying to start a flamewar here, but man pages, a wonderful
# innovation 30 years ago, seem to be showing their age.

"Well, I didn't MEAN to burn down the building, in spite of having poured
gasoline all over it?"

# I propose junking man pages as we know them, keeping all documentation in
# html, and making the man command essentially a stripped-down lynx (or other
# specialized text-based browser).

Whoa, hold it, there.  Talk like this suggests that your next proposal
will be to abandon ffs in favour of ext2fs for our native filesystem. ;-,

I disagree STRONGLY with this direction.  I don't WANT any fancy overhead
just to look up a man page; and there exist far and away too many
"specialized" tools these days.  Info, while cool, is just not a suitable
replacement for man.  

I could see an htman or some such, with this (as always) AN OPTION,
but don't you _dare_ be so presumptuous as to suggest that we do such
a thing as to make man(1) completely obsolete.  Telnet/ssh sessions are,
after all, typically 80 columns wide ASCII.

It isn't broken (modulo some small changes that I keep bitching about
but they're discarded out of hand in the name of filesystem security);
what are you trying to really fix, here, and why?

# -Mike
# p.s. As precedent for using html, the READMEs in pkgsrc are html.

How often do we reference the READMEs in pkgsrc?!?  Far less often than
we reference man pages, believe you me.

Would you also introduce a totally new way of constructing manual pages,
as opposed to a low-level format from which higher-level formats can
be derived?  (Hint:  It's much harder to go the other way).

# On 17 Jul 2000, Mirian Crzig Lennox wrote:
# > 
# > NetBSD's man pages, omissions and all, are about as good as it gets in
# > terms of clarity and readability; let's preserve that.

I'll support this in a heartbeat.

# > --Mirian

Microsoft:	"Where do you want to go today?"
Linux:		"Where do you want to be tomorrow?"
BSD:		"Are you guys coming, or what?"