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Old 03-12-2004, 09:48 AM   #1
Registered: Dec 2003
Distribution: Slackware 9.1
Posts: 309

Rep: Reputation: 30
comprehensible man pages project

I guess we need a stable revamp of the man pages. Man pages are yes full of information, but they are often hard to understand, even intermediate users like me take a bit of time to read everything.

We need stuff like: common problems. More examples, more bolding, more sorting, colour, diagrams!

So I want an ncurses based man, that will read files that code for colour and such and interpret them as so....

Is there something like this already, or is it open for development?

Take man cdrecord for example. They tell you about SCSI, DAO, real write, dummy mode, devices, sectors, but its hard to construct a big picture without re-reading over and over again. And googling. Then after rereading, I find SCSI protocol doesn't really have to be used for cdrecord - it was kernel based. Ide can be used in 2.6.x. Yes, I missed the big picture. Thanks to misleading man pages.

LINKS to other man pages for explanations we need, and a more convenient and compact form than online HOWTOs (ie. what about if you're fixing something and network isn't working properly?). Explain each option and give examples for it. This is good for newbies who don't have time to cross-reference everything.

I want a new man page system, Now.
Old 03-12-2004, 09:55 AM   #2
Registered: Apr 2003
Location: Australia
Distribution: RedHat 9.0 / Slackware 9.0/ FreeBSD 4.8 / Solaris 8 x86 / Mandrake 9.0
Posts: 90

Rep: Reputation: 15
Good on you, tell me when your done with this man page project, I mean it's all GPL so go right ahead... On an aside, man pages weren't designed for easy use or diagrams. With konqueor you can get fairly good manpages but I think you will not in the near future get diagrams:
#man #bob's your uncle you have the manpage for man
it also seems that it accesses man pages like this:
man:/man #manpage for man
Old 03-12-2004, 10:22 AM   #3
Senior Member
Registered: Feb 2003
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 4,113

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Man pages are generally less designed to teach you how to use something (though they can, and often have, to work that way) and more designed for 'Was that an upper case or lower case F?'. Reference/reminders for people who already know what they're doing. And it's great to just type 'man command', hit a slash, type in a search, and go. But I do agree that users sometimes need something else to start with. It's not a local help system like you're talking about, but there is an effort to create readable, user-friendly, current documentation:

This section's the most 'man'-like:

but the whole site is relevant. Check it out and pitch in if you'd like.


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