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Re: our broken man package

On Thu, Jan 04, 2001 at 10:35:56AM -0800, Joey Hess wrote:

> Is that even necessary? I mean, alternatives makes sense for programs
> like MTAs and editors, which have a diverse range of interface,
> functionality, and use. Man formats a page and displays it in $PAGER;

I'd always thought the intention was exactly the opposite - where one
doesn't care which program one gets so long as it provides the
functionality required one uses an alternative.  If, for example, I run
/usr/bin/vi I expect to get something that understands standard vi
commands and command line arguments.  It's just that there are multiple
programs that can do this and each of these programs can have additional
features so you might want to have a seleciton installed simultaneously.

> its usage is pretty set in stone since a long time ago. One man program
> might be faster or more secure, or less buggy than another, but it's
> going to look and operate the same, so it seems everyone is going to
> gravitate to the best one available, so why bother with alternatives for
> the rest?

Of course, this also makes sense.  Perhaps if multiple man programs are
packaged it would be more useful for them to conflict with each other
and just include the man executable directly.

Mark Brown  mailto:broonie@tardis.ed.ac.uk   (Trying to avoid grumpiness)
EUFS        http://www.eusa.ed.ac.uk/societies/filmsoc/

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