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Re: man or info?

On Mon, Jun 17, 2002 at 05:49:28PM -0400, Patrick Wiseman wrote:
> I much prefer 'man' to 'info' (and I guess at least some Debian developers
> do too as there are so many Debian-edited man pages).  Anyone know why GNU
> uses info now instead?  And is there any way to influence the decision, or
> am I just way too late?

Don't we wish. The decisions (on both sides) are far too entrenched to
change (info dates from at least the late 80s). As another poster said,
the two documentation formats are intended for somewhat different

To summarize somewhat, perhaps unfairly, the GNU Project seems to
believe that providing a complete detailed manual is always preferable
to providing a reference card; the Debian Project observes that not all
upstream authors have the time or inclination for a complete manual and,
all other things being equal, prefers to have some reasonable
documentation for most things than excellent documentation for a few and
poor documentation for most.

Man pages are things that both authors and readers can pick up quickly.
I'm in the habit of using info for a very few GNU packages (make,
autoconf, and the libc being prime examples), but given the choice I
still prefer a quick 'man foo'.

Colin Watson (bias: man-db maintainer)        [cjwatson@flatline.org.uk]

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