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Re: Bug#1737: missing man pages for accouting commands

Dirk, I'm glad you are maintaining this package.  I know you
contribute a lot more to Debian than I do so please take my comments
in the spirit of team feedback rather than a personal afront.

My understanding of the role of a Debian maintainer is that we are not
called on to always supply the solutions to the problems but to act as
a focal point for the status of the package and a contact person for
the author.  Since few debian package maintainers are also the authors
this adds a valuable layer in the system integration and configuration

In the case of the acct package missing a man page, I don't think it
is important that you write one or if the author is dead set against
them (which has not been shown to me), but it is important that we
keep the information that reminds the author that we think it should
have a man page if at all possible.  Even if the author were to say,
"Don't ask cuz I'll NEVER write one", we should simply maintain the
fact the we think there should be one and let it go at that.

About your apparent observation that GNU folk do not believe in man

I have never heard this expressed in any form other than the personal
preferences of some individuals and they did not repressent the
majority.  Please note that GNU emacs does come with a man page.  I
think I've made my point and I don't need to go rooting through GNU
sources to find man pages to wave inthe air.

I do not see info as a replacement for man nor have i heard that it is
intended to be one.  Info is a great idea for text browsing.  It is a
fore-runner to hypertext and is very useful.  I have always seen it as
a different tool for a different job than man.  We can discuss
documentation philosophies over brew another time.

Please re-consider your position on this.  Many times package authors
feel too busy to be bothered with man pages.  Will the author accept a
man page if we contribute one?  Would you, as the maintainer, mind
keeping a man page in the package diffs for debian if the author will
not accept it?  Would Susan volunteer to write it if we promised to
give her tech advice and to critique it for her?

I hope you guys can work out something.  I will not be around to see
your reply since I'm traveling in the middle east for the next 2 weeks.

Thanks for the time, Dirk.


   Subject: Bug#1737: missing man pages for accouting commands
   Date: Mon, 23 Oct 95 10:38 EDT
   To: sgk@sgk.tiac.net, debian-bugs@Pixar.com, debian-bugs-done@Pixar.com
   From: Dirk.Eddelbuettel@qed.econ.queensu.ca
     Susan G Kleinmann writes:
     Susan> The man page and the info page for 'acct' refer the reader to
     Susan> acct(5) for additional information.  No such page exists.
   True, but that is a bug in the upstream version that I as the maintainer
   can't do anything about but writing the man page myself. And I don't have
   enough time to do so. Any volunteers?
     Susan> Likewise, there are no man pages for `ac', `accton', `lastcomm', and
     Susan> `sa'.  Even though much of the relevant information is covered in
     Susan> the texinfo document for `accounting', it would be helpful to have a
     Susan> man page for each of these commands, even if it said something so
     Susan> simple as "look in the texinfo document."
   Well, Debian is a GNU system. And in the GNU world is a preference for
   texinfo over manpages. Love it or loathe it --- and then do write some
   manpages. I close this bug now.
   Dirk.Eddelbuettel@qed.econ.queensu.ca          http://qed.econ.queensu.ca/~edd

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