Bug#295328: general: Help messages to stderr should be banned
I occasionally install a program and need to know how to use it as
quickly as possible; for example, while reading through bug reports.
So, I run foo --help. Sometimes, the help screen is more than 25
lines long, and it scrolls on past. So, I run foo --help |less.
Occasionally, though, foo writes its help output to stderr, and I'm
left with an empty less buffer. So, I try again: foo --help 2>&1
|less. This is a pretty obnoxious command to have to type just to
see what the required commands are, and in what order they are taken
(and, I guess csh doesn't even allow it).
I already know that I can use the video buffer with shift-pageup. And
I know that help output is supposed to fit on a single page, but I
also know that sometimes it doesn't.
I suppose I will start filing minor bugs against packages that do
this. I'd like to hear other people's opinions, though. (It occurs
to me that help output to stderr is arguably appropriate if an invalid
option is given). Part of the problem is that its fairly depressing
when investigation into one bug leads to filing of another bug:)