Bug#1978: man: default pager should be less
Emilio C. Lopes:
IMHO, the problem is with "more" not with "man". One must not try
to adapt a good program just to make it work together with a
deficient one (still IMHO, of course).
This is more a matter of interface definition than anything else.
more can go backwards only on seekable files. less (and any other
view that lets you go backward on a non-seekabe file) works by making
an extra internal copy of the file.
Since man already is perfectly equipped to provide a seekable file, it
seems that taking advantage of this would be a good idea, both in
terms of efficiency and in terms of flexibility.