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Re: Removing the manpage requirement for GUI programs?

On Wed, Mar 03, 2010 at 07:17:14PM +0100, Yves-Alexis Perez wrote:
> On 28/02/2010 01:32, Ben Finney wrote:
> > Josselin Mouette <joss@debian.org> writes:
> > 
> >> > Yes, I overall agree with your arguments. However having it in the
> >> > policy means we get bug reports about manual pages and have to deal
> >> > with them, while they are not the primary source of documentation for
> >> > command-line options.
> > If manpages were useful only for documenting command-line options, this
> > would be a valid point. As has been pointed out, though, manpages for
> > programs are useful for much more than that.
> > 
> But that's why he doesn't propose to forbid manpages for GUI programs,
> just to not have them mandatory (well, agreed, it's a “should”). For
> programs where there's no point in having a manpage (and only them) he
> proposes to drop the “should” requirement, that's all.
> That doesn't prevent motivated people/upstream to provide manpages, it
> just spares some time for maintainers. I have few cases in Xfce of such
> programs (like all the xfce4-*-settings).

My two cents:

I have seen manpages in Debian that basically claim that "This program
does not have a useful manpage, for the information look into
bla-bla-bla..." I think that even having such a man page is better
than not having one at all. Just because it clearly indicates where to
look for additional information. In fact, a group of related programs
that have information about them shared in a common place or have the
same means to get this information (like --help command line option)
could symlink to a single man file. 


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