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Re: Documentation for "Clone Buffers" (corrected version)

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: Documentation for "Clone Buffers" (corrected version)
Date: 21 Mar 2004 08:28:32 +0200

> From: Richard Stallman <address@hidden>
> Date: Sun, 21 Mar 2004 00:00:31 -0500
>     If you refer to additional libraries, I think a programmer has a good
>     knowledge in what library each function lives.  After all, it's the
>     same programmer who needs to add a -lFOO switch to the link command
>     line.
> Not necessarily.  Maybe she didn't write the code.  Maybe she is looking
> for the docs for a function because she doesn't know what it does.

The same could happen with man pages, and yet several people in this
thread seem to say that man pages should serve as a model for the new
features we are discussing.

> If she has to specify the library name to find the function,
> she might as well just browse and find that library's manual.

Browsing a manual requires to know Info commands, while getting to
the required section directly does not.  So "info libc strcpy" is
more convenient than "info" followed by the commands to descend from
DIR to the libc manual, from there to the Index node, and finally
looking for strcpy.

Compare that with man pages: one could always start with the Intro
page, then follow the references from there.  However, getting to the
right page directly is more convenient.  (In the Info case, browsing
is more complicated because Info manuals have multi-level structure
while man pages have only 2 levels.)

> The goal of this discussion is to design a more convenient
> alternative.

In my experience, many Info users are unaware of Info features that
make their lives significantly easier.  How many users know about the
"--usage" or "--apropos" options?  I'm quite sure that something like
"info libc strcpy" is something many users don't know about.

So to have a fruitful discussion, I think we need to consider
available features, before we decide on the possible improvements.

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