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Re: Removing the manpage requirement for GUI programs?

2010/2/27 Josselin Mouette <joss@debian.org>:
> Hi,
> currently policy §12.1 mandates that “each program, utility, and
> function should have an associated manual page”. However, the more I
> stomp on bug reports about manual pages, the less I am convinced of
> their usefulness for GUI programs.
> 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.
> 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.
> For extra points, we could agree on a way to generate manual pages
> automatically, either at installation time or on the fly, using
> help2man.
> Any comments before I submit a bug against the policy?
As debian user, I really hate when I find a command which I don't know
what is and doesn't have man page. I think this happens to me in other
distributions more than in debian.

I think, at least a description should be provided. Obviously there
are GUI programs which their names give you clues about them, but
others, like "baobab" not. Imagine programs like baobab without any
manpage, It is hard to launch a program if you don't know about what
it's going to do. It is safe to launch any program if you can read
about it before.

Thank you very much

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