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SubjectRe: info format (was Re: Linux 2.2.11pre4)
On 4 Aug 1999, Andreas Schwab wrote:

> rct@gherkin.sa.wlk.com (Bob_Tracy) writes:
...
> |> is reasonable and appropriate, but I STILL WANT THE #$%@! man PAGE, and
> |> it should be kept up to date.
Agree - man is far more general and reliable than info.
...
> documentation. Remember that all those things are done *voluntarily*, and
> if nobody wants to do it, then it won't be done, period.
Also agree, but the system seems set up to discourage volunteerism.

GNU's coding standard:
http://www.gnu.org/prep/standards_37.html#SEC37 is very down on man
pages, and even recommends rejecting man pages volunteered by others.

But the man system seems more reliable than the info system (due to the
makewhatis and the use of plain directories rather than info/dir files),
and better synopsis format. The two main programs most intimately involved
in the documentation are 'info' and 'texinfo' -- info.info doesn't seem to
follow the coding standard about referring to the maintainer, and is
unhelpful for setting up the info system. Texinfo is not broken, and the
stand-alone info program is not broken, what is broken is the setup and
configuration of the /*/info/(dir|*) structure and the environmental
variables, which doesn't seem to be documented anywhere.
I think a nice thing would be to change the coding standard to add a 'man'
node to the texinfo documentation for a program. It would help the info
writers make a consistent summary-type thing, and some interested person
could write a stripper program to build a man page from that node.

Really, this discussion belongs somewhere else, maybe on
help-gnu-utils@gnu.org or bug-gnu-utils@gnu.org, help-texinfo@gnu.org or
bug-texinfo.gnu.org. Do those seem like the right places for us to
complain/help?

Just my 2 cents...
--
Dave Forrest dforrest@virginia.edu
(804)-296-7283 http://www.people.virginia.edu/~drf5n/


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