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Re: Debian GNU/Linux Reference Card under construction

On Wed, Apr 21, 2004 at 02:05:58PM +0100, Colin Watson wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 21, 2004 at 12:52:26PM +0200, Thorsten Roggendorf wrote:
> > I'm probably a bit late, but I have a few suggestions (the card is great
> > btw):
> > 
> > - You might want to mention the info command in the Getting Help
> > section. info can fully replace man, if no info page is found on the
> > system a manpage will be displayd, but if there is, it's often much more
> > useful (e.g. info find). info is to man what less is to more.
> Warning: religious issue detected.


> FWIW, this isn't true: man -k; man uses your preferred pager while info
> has its own built-in (and fairly sucky) one; man can format man pages to
> PostScript etc.; I don't see a way to specify a manual section to info;
> does info *really* handle non-ASCII encodings better than man currently
> does?; and so on.
> Manual page viewing is a simple hack in info, but it doesn't replace
> man.

Additionally, info pages tend to be large, bloated, and full of
unnecessary information (at least, information that IMO does not belong
in on-line documentation) whereas manpages usually are concise and
to-the-point documentation; precisely the sort of documentation one
needs when actually working with a computer (as opposed to, say, sitting
in a sofa with your feet in the direction of the fireplace, and a book
in your hands that explains you how a given piece of software works).

Not to mention the fact that Debian Policy mandates software to feature
manpages, which cannot be said about info.

That doesn't mean one wouldn't want to add a reference to info, though;
in many cases when there's an info file, the manpages are outdated,
incomplete, or unexisting. Especially GNU software seems to be horrible
in this regard.

     smog  |   bricks
 AIR  --  mud  -- FIRE
soda water |   tequila
 -- with thanks to fortune

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