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Re: Removing the manpage requirement for GUI programs?

"brian m. carlson" <sandals@crustytoothpaste.ath.cx> writes:

> On Sat, Feb 27, 2010 at 08:06:37PM +0100, Josselin Mouette wrote:
> > Therefore I propose that we drop the requirement of a manual page if
> > these conditions are met: 
> >       * the program requires graphical interaction with the user, and is
> >         not meant to be used from a script; 
> >       * the command-line switches are properly documented with a --help
> >         option.
> A manual page contains more information than just command line
> switches. For example, iceweasel's manpage contains information about
> environment variables and files that it uses.

Agreed, this is very useful information for any program regardless of
its UI.

The argument about upstream failing to maintain manpages is not specific
to GUI programs (there are plenty of text-based programs whose upstream
developers don't care about a manpage), so even if this requirement were
to be relaxed I don't see what's special about the GUI aspect.

> --help output is for the case where you already are intimately
> familiar with the program and what it does, and need a quick reminder,
> or for cases when manpages are not available (emergency single-user
> boot).

Exactly. The purposes of ‘foo --help’ are quite different from ‘man 1
foo’, and having one does not obviate the need or usefulness of the

 \     “Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.” —Mark |
  `\                                    Twain, _Following the Equator_ |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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