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Re: Removing the manpage requirement for GUI programs?

On Sat, 2010-02-27 at 11:14 -0800, Russ Allbery wrote:
> Josselin Mouette <joss@debian.org> writes:
> > GUI applications usually take only a few simple command-line options,
> > and more importantly, when you use a modern development framework, these
> > options will always be documented correctly with the --help switch.
> > Manual pages, OTOH, are not maintained properly by upstream developers.
> > I think it is a waste of time to write manual pages that won’t be
> > maintained upstream, and that won’t contain more useful information than
> > --help. The purpose of a manual page is to document precisely the
> > behavior of a program, and for GUI applications there is usually an
> > associated GUI documentation instead.

manpages can prove to be useful in many situation and they have a few
nice features:
1. "man" offer a consistent API. (as opposed to -h/--help/-help/--usage/
   --help-foo, --help-bar, etc).
2. whatis foo
3. apropos bar
4. reading the manpage doesn't require to execute the program
  - it's safe to be run as root
  - it's doesn't create dummy .foo files
  - it never spawns any background process

> If the flags are properly documented with --help, isn't it usually fairly
> trivial to generate a man page using help2man?

And if it isn't trivial, it probably isn't trivial for humans either.


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