man pages

Sam Halliday fommil at
Sat May 3 12:34:00 PDT 2003

Seth Klein wrote:
> The major problem, however, is simply the GNU project. Their
> documentation is generally wordy, messy, inaccurate, or just plain
> missing.
damn right, i have seen quite a few flame wars in the coreutils mailing
lists between *BSD and GNU coders both looking for different things in
the man pages; the gnu team mostly backing info (for some bizzare reason
which escapes me...).

when i was told about these OpenBSD docs, i was given the impression
that the OpenBSD people had actually rewritten GNU man pages, or written
ones which do not exist (for common packages to gnu/linux). which may be
true, but i have yet to find a good example of this.

actually, i have just realised something; the LFS user base is growing
continually and insanely fast. the gap between the number of 'coding'
users (i.e. those who can actually fix a broken source file when needed)
and those who just want to learn more about the command line, is
widening. and the non-coders may be finding it hard to contribute back
to either LFS or GNU. what if a lfs-doc mailing list were set up and the
book were to request that new users take the time to research a program
or config file (which is missing a man page) and essentially write the
docs for it!!

the changes could be submitted back to the authors of the package and
where the feedback docs are rejected becuase the authors disagree with
the use of man pages, we could keep a local LFS-man.tar. this system
will obvioulsy need some form of peer review or else any eedjit will be
allowed to write the docs for anything. the last thing i would want to
happen is to see LFS users be notorious for submitting bad docs back to
projects :-/

or am i being too unrealistic expecting every LFS user to feed something
back to this project?

maybe as a smaller project, we could just make a list of missing program
man pages and use auto-generation to make them...

It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both
incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by
twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.
-- Rod Serling
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