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Re: man-intro (was: getting more out of man pages with less(1) )

From: Dave Kemper
Subject: Re: man-intro (was: getting more out of man pages with less(1) )
Date: Sat, 22 May 2021 12:27:28 -0500

On 5/17/21, James K. Lowden <> wrote:
> Attached is a straw man 1st draft of what an introduction to the man
> system might look like.  If it clears the threshold of raspberries,
> perhaps we can mold it into something useful.

I think it looks great!

I'm admittedly not its target audience, as I haven't been a novice
man-page user in decades, so it's hard for me to say whether it's
missing anything important.  But even if there end up being details to
be filled in later, this is a great starting point.

The thing I might change structurally is moving the stuff about the
user interface nearer the top where it's more prominent, and the stuff
about the section numbers down.  The novice user is way more likely to
care about how to scroll through the page than how to look up
something in section 5.  It's certainly a valid topic to cover on an
intro page, but maybe at the bottom rather than the top.  (And since
the majority of man pages only have one entry, making the section
number unnecessary a lot of the time, maybe include an example of a
page where the section does make a difference, like printf or groff?)

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