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Death of man pages?


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I'm seeing a sad pattern lately. Software for Linux is being distributed for Linux as containers such as flatpaks, appimages, etc. or as straight binaries but the documentation that come with these formats in very limited or non-existent. I've also not seen any applications distributed this way contain man pages.

 

That's not to say that I'm against containerized applications. I'm, not. I'm a great proponent of appimages in particular. I think that could be a great way to bring back awesome software that is no longer compatible with current Linux distros because the dependencies have been dropped. However, I find that it's assumed that documentation will be on a website somewhere instead of on the system with the software. I think there could/should be a middle ground where you have your containerized or binary-only packages but also full documentation with it in the form of man pages or some other easy to use format.

 

 

https://www.reddit.com/r/linux/comments/p5zdzs/death_of_man_pages/

 

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4 hours ago, saturnian said:

I rely heavily on man pages. I can't imagine working with Linux without them.

 

Same. At least Archlinux does proper packaging.

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IMO, man pages are NECESSARY for CLI users.  Without man pages, how are we supposed to figure out which "switches" and "options" and "targets", and syntax, are needed for a command to perform the function we intend?

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8 hours ago, Hedon James said:

IMO, man pages are NECESSARY for CLI users.  Without man pages, how are we supposed to figure out which "switches" and "options" and "targets", and syntax, are needed for a command to perform the function we intend?

 

True but you can always get the options by running command -h and you can always find them online by doing man ls to get a link to the man page for ls.

 

I think this just lazy packaging..

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I'm a man page user too.  It'd be a shame to see it go by the wayside.  Having it available online somewhere doesn't help a person that''s setting things up without internet.

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8 minutes ago, wa4chq said:

I'm a man page user too.  It'd be a shame to see it go by the wayside.  Having it available online somewhere doesn't help a person that''s setting things up without internet.

Good point!

 

Reminds me of an experience I had once upon a time, trying to setup my internet connection, and no matter how well I followed instructions my 'puter just would NOT connect to the internet.  Found a tech support number in the documentation, but that number was one of those self-navigation menus where you have to guess which department you want to speak to, because the extensions weren't obvious.  I ended up calling that number numerous times that day, and trying different XTs, but it seemed like every option I chose for "issues with internet" ended up in the same manner....a voice message instructing me to go online to www._________________ to receive support.  RUFKM?!!!!  What sadistic genius designed that customer support system?  Probably made him CEO by now...

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11 hours ago, wa4chq said:

I'm a man page user too.  It'd be a shame to see it go by the wayside.  Having it available online somewhere doesn't help a person that''s setting things up without internet.

 

Yeah but most people have multiple devices including smartphones so its an option. Personally I wouldnt use a package manager that didnt come with man pages.

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