[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Removing the manpage requirement for GUI programs?

On Sat, Feb 27, 2010 at 03:30:49PM -0800, Don Armstrong wrote:
> The crux of your argument is that for many GUI programs, manpages
> aren't as essential as other forms of documentation, and developer
> time would be better spent doing making other improvements.

I acknowledge this part of the problem and your reasoning.

I wonder however if there isn't another part of the issue which is: how
to point the user which ended up on the manual page [1] to the
appropriate source of documentation.

The infamous undocumented(7) was far too generic to be useful, but maybe
in the specific contexts mentioned by Joss there can be appropriate
place where to point the user. If this is true, would it make sense to
have a, for instance, "undocumented-gnome" manpage which points to the
appropriate entry in the GNOME help system? The same goes for KDE and
for any other UI sub-system we have.

If there is some uniformity there, we can avoid relaxing policy
suggestion (which from this thread I'd say it is not something we want
to do anyhow), but still relieving part of the pain in maintaining
useless manpages.

Also, if there are large enough subsystems, one might imagine automatic
processing of the specific undocumented manpages to fire up the
appropriate help system automatically, e.g. if I'm under X11.

Just my 0.02€,

[1] e.g. because she didn't know the program was a GUI program: maybe
    she heard the name on the internet, maybe she found the binary while
    skimming through /usr/bin/

Stefano Zacchiroli -o- PhD in Computer Science \ PostDoc @ Univ. Paris 7
zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} -<>- http://upsilon.cc/zack/
Dietro un grande uomo c'è ..|  .  |. Et ne m'en veux pas si je te tutoie
sempre uno zaino ...........| ..: |.... Je dis tu à tous ceux que j'aime

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: Digital signature

Reply to: