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

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

Please do not mistake me: I also would like to see a man page acct(5). But we
have a way more severe problem with acct as it stands now---it is only partly
functional because the 'sa' command cannot compile under the current kernel.
The good news is that I am in contact with the author of the upstream
package. The bad news that he has seems to be really busy at work and cannot
devote a lot of time to the package. His respone time to my mails isn't too
impressive either.

  CD> Please note that GNU emacs does come with a man page. 

Please compare the amount of information supplied as info pages to that
supplied as man pages. Moreover, the emacs man pages is dated April 1994
whereas the info pages are current. Also, the man page contains pointers to
lots of stuff in /usr/local/ which reside in /usr under debian. This point
could actually be made for quite some manual pages, eg I noticed it for
procmail(1) yesterday.

I am sure I once saw an explicit statement saying that the GNU operating
system will use info as its main source of documentation, but I can't
remember where that was. There is a preference for info over man with GNU and
the FSF that I take for granted.

As you, I don't want to open a debate as to whether info or man is
superior. The fact of the matter is that we often have only the one or the
other---and inevitably someone will be bothered by this and say "hey, why
hasn't the foobar command a man page ?".

  CD> Would you, as the maintainer, mind
  CD> keeping a man page in the package diffs for debian if the author will
  CD> not accept it?

That is what I did with the `last', a package derived from the acct package.
As I found it unacceptable to force `last' users to install `acct' only for
the documentation, I quickly copied the relevant texinfo stuff from the acct
texinfo source into a man page that is packaged with `last'.

I am sorry that I was rather rough in my reply to the bug report. I did not
mean to offend anyone, and certainly not Suzan who reported it along with
another one.

Dirk.Eddelbuettel@qed.econ.queensu.ca          http://qed.econ.queensu.ca/~edd 

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