[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [Groff] Parsing specific section of man page

From: ridiculous_fish
Subject: Re: [Groff] Parsing specific section of man page
Date: Sun, 22 Jan 2012 16:37:10 -0800

Hello! I'm working with Siteshwar on these shell enhancements. At the cost of 
off-topic, I hope I can clarify our intent, and convince you that this is a 

Ingo Schwarze wrote on Sun, 22 Jan 2012 16:57:29 +0100:

> Do not bloat the shell.

This is key to our philosophy. In fact, we started on this project as a 
reaction to what
we perceive as bloat in shells like bash, whose man page is about half the 
length of the
first Harry Potter novel.

Our intent is to produce a shell with less internal complexity, and far less 
complexity, than popular shells.

While we like the idea of man pages contributing to completions, we have not 
settled on an
architecture for it yet. What if we described the feature as a separate script 
that scans
installed man pages and outputs a shell completion file? Would that be able to 
slip by
your Unix-philosophy-radar?

> Do not bloat *any* utility program with unrelated bells and 
> whistles...Options typically
> are a dash and one character.

It sounds like you are reacting against the idea of shell command completions 
That ship sailed long ago: bash, tcsh, and zsh all know how to complete 
options, both long
and short. A shell that hopes to succeed today cannot realistically omit this 

> Whatever you do, it will be crude guesswork... How are you going to find out 
> whether you
> are even looking at the right manual?

We don't expect perfection, only an improvement on how shell completions work 
today, which
requires users to install some monster static list of commands invariably 
designed only
for GNU tools (and even then, special-cased for various Linux distributions). 
We're aware
that scanning man pages is a sucky solution and will get a lot wrong; we just 
think that
the current design sucks harder and gets more wrong.

Our belief is that man pages, while imperfect, will nevertheless have much 
better fidelity
to the installed system than whatever static list happens to be up at . As a longtime BSD contributor, I hope you can 
our attempt to make this existing feature more platform-agnostic.


reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]