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Re: debian how-to

"Douglas A. Tutty" <dtutty@porchlight.ca> writes:

> On Mon, Jan 07, 2008 at 01:35:08PM +0100, Michelle Konzack wrote:
> > Am 2007-12-31 22:15:46, schrieb Douglas A. Tutty:
> > > I also dislike huge long man pages.  To me, man pages should be for a
> > > bit more help than foo --help; a summary.  The main doc should be in
> > > plain html for viewing with lynx or something.  
> > 
> > So you hate the manpages to bash, fvwm, gcc, zgv, fetchmail or mc?
> > 
> > Hmmm...  weird!  I love it, since this are real manpages and HTML
> > pages can not easy searched...
> > 
> HTML pages (not just html versions of man pages) can have a TOC, you can
> search with / the same as you can with less in a man page.  I use Lynx
> mostly for things like the shorewall-doc, tldp HOWTOs, ntpd docs, etc.
> Things like the bash man page are too much info for one single page,
> rsync would be easier to read in a different format.
> The man pages started out as an online version of printed books.  In
> printed books, you can keep a thumb in one spot, turn a couple of pages
> and flip back and forth.  Can't do that easily in a normal man page with
> less.  Online docs should use the most user-friendly format possible.
> Since I can do everything in lynx that I can in man/less, yet if I go to
> Konqueror I can split the screen and have separate sections, it would
> make sense to me if man pages were in html with toc and hyperlinks.

You can use dwww to view man pages and info in a web browser, as well
as the other documentation.  That allows you to search using the
browser capabilities (using / for w3m), although it doesn't supply the
TOC, index or hyperlinks.  I usually prefer man pages directly with
less as my pager, but sometimes dwww also works well.

Info pages are almost unusable for me, but the html view in dwww makes
them almost bearable.  The problem with info pages is that they are a
book format, so it is difficult for quick lookup.  They have a TOC and
index, but they seem to index things in ways that I find almost
incomprehensible, so I usually end up having to page though everything
before I find what I want.  Since they are multiple pages, that means
that having to hunt down every link to try to find all of the pages.

Carl Johnson		carlj@peak.org

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