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Re: Removing the manpage requirement for GUI programs?

Le samedi 27 février 2010 à 20:29 +0000, brian m. carlson a écrit : 
> lakeview ok % gcalctool --help
> Usage:
>   gcalctool - Perform mathematical calculations

> Tell me what user files gcalctool may access, using only this
> information.  Also tell me, using *only the information provided*, how
> to force GTK+ to make all X calls synchronous.  You can't, because that
> information is not provided in the --help output.
> In the latter case, --help-all might be useful, but the output is not
> sufficient, and so the package would, according to your proposed
> standard, need a manpage, or to be patched to make --help work like
> --help-all.  In the former case, the information is not provided at all,
> except in the manpage.

This is where you are wrong. The manual page is incorrect and does not,
as you might think, describe all files gcalctool might access. Actually,
the .gcalctoolrc file that is described in the manual page is an ancient
artifact that has close to 0 use.

> Furthermore, gcalctool can be scripted with -s, and the --help output
> does not describe the syntax: is it infix? postfix? How do you express
> powers?  Must powers be integers?  What precision is available?  The
> manpage does not either, but that is a bug in the manpage.  That
> information should not be present in the --help output.  It is entirely
> too long.

The information is in the HTML documentation. Are you going to duplicate
that information too, and introduce a new way for the documentation to
be out of sync?

> Maybe I'm the exception, but I end up running a lot of graphical
> programs from the command line.  When I'm building PDFs, I generally run
> evince from the command line.  I often use wireshark from the command
> line.  And those are just two from the top of my head.

And do you often read evince’s manual page?

> I'm happy to write or update manual pages, if needed.  If you provide a
> list of those that need work, I'll start working on them, so don't think
> I'm just a naysayer that wants to push off work on others.

Sorry but I think this would be a waste of time. There are real bugs to
fix instead of working on manual pages. First you would only repeat what
can be found in --help, since there’s nothing more to say about most GUI
programs. Then, once you would have written them, they’d need to be
forwarded, and more importantly you’d need to ensure at *every major
release* that they are still in sync.

 .''`.      Josselin Mouette
: :' :
`. `'   “I recommend you to learn English in hope that you in
  `-     future understand things”  -- Jörg Schilling

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