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Re: tail man entry for +

From: Bob Proulx
Subject: Re: tail man entry for +
Date: Tue, 20 Jun 2006 10:55:00 -0600
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.9i

John Lange wrote:
> Do you think it would be possible to add an entry to the tail man that
> indicates you can use the + sign to start reading X number of lines from
> the beginning.

Phil addressed that question so I will address the second.

> I don't understand what the difference between 'info tail' and 'man
> tail' or why there are 2 different types of documentation?

Man pages are good quick reference pages for when people already know
how to run the commands.  But the format is not very good for user
documentation and tutorials or anything that has a book format.  Can
you imagine reading a book tutorial composed of nothing but man pages?

The info system was developed many years ago to fill the need of a
book like documentation system that can be used online or in printed
format from a single source.  It is well suited to producing tutorials
and user documentation.  It supports cross-links between sections.  It
is the official documentation system for the GNU project.

Note: If you are seeing the man page when invoking the info command
then the info documentation is not properly installed on your system.
The info command falls back to showing the man page if the info
documentation is not found.

For example I see:

  info coreutils tail

     If any option-argument is a number N starting with a `+', `tail'
  begins printing with the Nth item from the start of each file, instead
  of from the end.

People either love or hate GNU info documentation.  It has been a
contentious topic over the many years.  The newcomer candidate to
replace texinfo is docbook.  But while it has become very popular it
has not yet replaced texinfo.


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