Tiny is Fine! [Was Re: Removing the manpage requirement for GUI programs?]
Please don't let the PERFECT be the enemy of the GOOD.
It would be perfect if we had complete man pages for all programs.
But a one-line (not including NAME section header) man page like this:
graphdraw - directed graph editor derived from drawtool
is not just good; it is 100x better than no man page. And, for an
interactive graphical program which does not usually take command line
arguments and which has built-in help, almost as useful as a perfect
20-page magnum opus man page.
Why? Because this works:
man -k midi -s 1
man -k edit | egrep -i 'graph\b'
It doesn't do users any good to have a program available if they
cannot find it! Built-in online documentation from a HELP menu does
not do that. Instead, that role is filled by menufile(5) and man(1)
and whatis(1). The menufile system is useless for finding, say,
xournal if I'm looking for a PDF annotation program. But man pages,
even super-short ones, with a couple keywords in the 1st line, are
great for that.
So please: takes two minutes and make a one-line man page listing a
some relevant keywords for your nifty graphical application, even
though it has a 278-page built-in html manual.
Barak A. Pearlmutter <email@example.com>
Hamilton Institute & Dept Comp Sci, NUI Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland