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Re: What does 'safely' mean in man mktemp?

From: Bob Proulx
Subject: Re: What does 'safely' mean in man mktemp?
Date: Sat, 17 Dec 2011 18:41:53 -0700
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)

Peng Yu wrote:
> > It is a matter of perspective.  The point is that we are building a
> > GNU operating system.  The preferred documentation format for GNU is
> > info format not man format.
> I never said to get rid of info. I'm not sure what you referred to here.

I am referring to the point that info is the preferred documentation
format for the GNU system.

If you were creating a new GNU program from scratch and were starting
to write documentation for it then the format of that documentation
would be expected to be texinfo format.  Documentation in the format
of a man page is optional.  It might not exist at all.

> The wiki says it clearly.

Wiki?  What wiki?  Could you send a URL to what you are referring to

> The difference between info program and man program from a user
> perspective is more like vim and emas. I guess that it is hard to
> convert user from one camp to the others (which in general true for
> users of competitive tools).

Documentation for the most part consists of words on a page.  A lot of
it is converted to html format and displayed on a web page.  A lot is
printed out and read on paper.  A lot of people read documentation
using info, pinfo, emacs, man, more, less, lynx, elinks, w3m,
iceweasel, icecat, chromium, epiphany, or other display program.
After the words have been written it is up to you to read them.

There is an old saying.  You can lead a horse to water but you can't
make them drink.  I think that applies here.  A lot of documentation
is written but you can't make people read it.

> As a vim person, I don't like the vim like man has less materials
> than info. The current way making man same as help is not making
> sense to me.

Sorry but I do not understand what you are tring to say.  I am
completely befuddled and unable to parse it.

> "However, there are third party products to convert info pages to man
> pages (e.g. info2man). The benefit is that readers can use man and
> less/more and do not have to learn the emacs keys for info."

I haven't used info2man.  The concept seems interesting.  It would
certainly have some possibility.  That might produce a better man page
than help2man produces.  But a simple test was not encouraging.  I
installed it and a braindead test of it resulted in an empty output
file.  Something was not happy.  I will need to debug it on my system.

> do not have to learn the emacs keys for info."

You do not need to learn emacs keys to read documentation.  The
program you use to display the documentation is not the same as the
documentation itself.

Is that what this misunderstanding is all about?  You think that you
need to use emacs to read info pages?  That is not correct.  The info
pages are available in a variety of formats and with a variety of
viewers.  Use whatever viewer you wish to use.  You do not need to use
emacs to read the documentation.  You do not need to use vi/vim to
read the documentation.

If you like vi keys then use 'pinfo' (Przemek's Info Viewer) which
uses vi keys by default.  Give pinfo a try.

Or use a web browser with a vi key customization and look at the
online web pages.  Chromium browser has a plugin called 'vimium' which
works well.  Iceweasel browser has a plugin called Firemacs which
despite the name works great with vi key bindings.  I use both of
these plugins using vi keys and they both work well for me.  I did
need to configure them both in order to use the keys I wanted them to
use.  (I wanted j/k for down/up and h/l for left/right and even the
vimium plugin used different keys but it was easy to configure for the
standard vi keys.)

> Remember, GNU tools are not just for GNU tool developers. People may
> not and should not have to learn emacs if they have already learned
> vim.

You do not need to learn emacs in order to read documentation.  And
conversely neither do you need to learn vi/vim to read documentation
either.  It does help to be able to read however. :-)

> > The man pages from the --help output is done to make the creation of
> > man pages easy enough for developers to justify the effort of doing.
> > Because otherwise man format documentation would not exist at all.
> The conversion from info to man is even easier (just by info2man).

So far all I have from it is an empty output file from info2man.  (But
I will look into it.)

> > I always start with the info documentation first.
> As I mentioned above, depending who the user is the emacs key binding
> may not be friendly to the user. So why not creating the manpages same
> as infopages since it is so easy.

As I have mentioned above there isn't any reason to use emacs to read
info pages.  Use whatever display viewer you wish!  The choice is

Try using 'pinfo'.  Try the online web documentation.


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