Subject: Re: NetPBM man pages are arrogant, infuriating, nonfunctional. consider downgrading package.
To: Bryan Henderson <>
From: David Maxwell <>
List: tech-pkg
Date: 07/26/2004 00:06:12
On Sun, 25 Jul 2004, Bryan Henderson wrote:
> Since I, as Sourceforge Netpbm maintainer, was copied on this email, I
> guess I would be remiss in not pointing out areas where this user's
> experience is not typical.  As the email doesn't really invite

Man formatted documentation has a lot of advantages over html.

Someone working in a shell may or may not have quick and easy access to
a web browser. Even if they do, searching, and cutting and pasting
examples is much harder, since at the very least, you have to switch
apps out of your shell and back. That probably involves touching the
rodent for most people too.

I'd love to see NetPBM HTML generated by man2html, and the primary docs
maintained as manpages. I've had this same discussion with other open
source advocates at work, and _no one_ likes the current state of the
NetPBM docs.

Info based docs are bad too, btw, in case someone suggests that
alternative. Man pages have well defined structure and easy
searchability. Info pages have arbitrary structure - and yes, you can
search them, but good luck figuring out what you found. Html is text
unfriendly, offline unfriendly, and shell unfriendly...

David Maxwell,| --> Mastery of UNIX, like
mastery of language, offers real freedom. The price of freedom is always dear,
but there's no substitute. Personally, I'd rather pay for my freedom than live
in a bitmapped, pop-up-happy dungeon like NT. - Thomas Scoville