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Re: [Groff] Splitting groff(7)

From: Jon Snader
Subject: Re: [Groff] Splitting groff(7)
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2001 08:45:59 -0400
User-agent: Mutt/1.2.5i

On Wed, Jun 13, 2001 at 07:44:07AM -0400, Larry Kollar wrote:
> Jon Snader wrote:
> >   Bernd Warken wrote:
> > > IMHO the man page groff(7) is too long.  I propose to split off the
> > > predefined language elements into man pages of their own:
> > > 
> > 
> > Yikes!  Please don't do this.  As Werner replied, we'd end up with something
> > like the Perl manual, which is completely unusable.  Reading man pages
> > shouldn't be like an adventure game.
> True. But big manpages are more than a little unwieldy online. The
> groff(7) manpage is about as big as a manpage can be and still be
> useful on a terminal. The bash(1) manpage is far worse.

I agree that the large man pages are hard to deal with on-line.
One would think that the info system is the answer, but I must
admit I have a hard time warming up to it (although tkinfo helps
a lot).

Since I use groff a lot (books, papers, and correspondence) I
printed the man pages and keep them in a notebook with other
typesetting information (Kernighan's paper, etc.) in case I need
to study some aspect in depth.  For a quick question, I run man
and search for a keyword.  I can't easily do any of this if the
information is spread over many separate man pages.  For example,
I can *never* find anything in the perl man pages--I always end up
turning to the camel book.

Jon Snader

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