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Re: [Groff] The future redux

From: Walter Alejandro Iglesias
Subject: Re: [Groff] The future redux
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2014 18:00:42 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.22 (2013-10-16)

On Wed, Feb 26, 2014 at 01:19:14PM +0000, Ralph Corderoy wrote:
> Hi Walter,
>> Man pages are not tutorials or complete manuals
> Yes they are, or should be.  They used to be.  I learnt Perl 4 from
> perl(1).  Back then it was a single long man page, well-written by an
> experienced Unix hand, Larry Wall.  I learnt ed and sed the same way
> many years before that.

For the same approach I'm defending in all my posts: they used to be
and, in some cases, they still are.  Like I've said in other post here
I've learnt groff in that way.  But should they be?  Existing internet
I doubt.

Do not let some poet here to trick you, I am not arbitrary defending
the old times, I didn't know the Unix old times since I've started
with computers in 2005.  I welcome rational changes, those that really
simplify instead of adding in a carcinogenic way with the political
argument "We're working to make your life easier" like is happening
with Linux in general today.

>  And lex, yacc, etc.  There was no Internet access, no Usenet
>  access.  There was _The Unix Programming Environment_ which, coming
>  from K&R, was how I learnt Unix existed.  Books on Unix meant a
>  train journey to a specialist university bookshop.  Later at work,
>  Sun's printed man pages and a volume on papers were read cover to
>  cover.  They were how Unix was learnt by many because the man pages
>  aimed to be complete references.

What about info pages and other documentation that most Linux
distributions install by default in doc dirs?  Have man pages needed
some help?

The use of ed, and a lot of old Unix tools can be covered in a man
page.  But what about Emacs or Vim?  I could learn groff from the man
page but LaTeX?  That's what happens with a lot of "modern" or
"modernized" software for the same issue I'm criticizing.

>> Seriously guys, you need a big dose of Common Sense.
> Your tone comes across as offensive on this polite mailing list.  It
> detracts from any argument you may wish to make.

You're right to some extent, my apologizes.  My offensive tone is in
reaction to some polite arrogance all we are being victims this times
that affect not only the Unix world but life in general.

> Cheers, Ralph.

Thanks for your advice, Ralph.


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