Subject: Re: author of ping
To: <>
From: Henry Miller <>
List: tech-net
Date: 04/29/2001 18:18:11
On Sun, 29 Apr 2001, Jason R. Fink wrote:

> | > Personally, I think this proposal is unnecessarily morbid.  Reminding
> | > users of death each time they read the documentation doesn't seem
> | > good.
> actually I sort of agree with this more, the authors name should be
> there anyway but not the rest . . . it just seems creepy.

Or should it.  Thinking long term, all of us will be dead.   NetBSD will
still be around, and hopefully it is useful enough that it is updated from
time to time.  (Short of end of the world)

Ping will be updated from time to time.   Eventially the authors section
will become large and pointless.   

Remember this is a man page.  Let us consider why you would read the
authors section of a man page.  I can think of two reasons, first you want
to know the answer to the "Trivial Prusuit" question who is the orginal
author of ping; the other is you have read the man page and/or the source
code, and want to ask a question of someone who should know.  Mailing
lists might or might not be the better solution to the latter problem.

So what do we really want in the authors section?  I contend that it is
people who currently know (some part of) the code well enough to answer
questions.   Dead people don't fit that reason and should be removed
unless there is a reason to leave them there.  (trivia)   In addition
people who don't want to be have anything to do with that code or netBSD
should be removed.

> | While I don't care about the "morbid" bit, I think this is right - this is
> | a manpage, not author biography. (With all due respect to each author, of
> | course - dead or alive!)
> would it be a good idea to think about a sort of dedications section on
> Not just for this but, well, lets face it NetBSD folks will
> eventually die as well. I am sure many have already, hopefully I am not
> the next user anyway :)

Something.   The advantage of cheap storage is we can save useless stuff
for future historians who will be interested in God only knows.  We should
do what we can to help them though.  (of course without destroying
something useful, but that isn't at issue here as there is still the old
version of all man pages in CVS)