Subject: head/tail behaviour not explained
To: None <>
From: Igor Sobrado <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 03/06/2003 15:56:51

The command-line syntax of head(1) and tail(1) is not fully explained
in the man pages.  The synopsis of head(1):

   head [-n count] [file ...]

and tail:

   tail [-f | -F | -r] [-b number | -c number | -n number] [file ...]

does not explain uses of commands like "head -5 file.txt" or
"tail -16 file2.txt".  Is this a part of the historic command-line
syntax described in STANDARDS (tail(1)) and COMPATIBILITY (head(1))
sections of the manual?

If not, should those alternatives be added to the synopsis of those
commands in the man pages?  In other words, changing the synopsis
of those commands to:

   head [-n count | -count] [file ...]


   tail [-f | -F | -r] [-b number | -c number | -n number |-number] [file ...]

respectively.  I am just surprised for not finding information about
the behaviour of those commands in the man pages...


Igor Sobrado, UK34436 -