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Re: man pages

On Tue, Jul 24, 2001 at 02:49:27PM +0200, schilling@fokus.gmd.de wrote:
> >From: Michael Stone <mstone@cs.loyola.edu>
> >To go back to the subject of the LSB, man pages have nothing to do with
> >being able to run a binary accross distributions. 
> Of course thay have: think about the fact that different distributions use
> different programs with the same name but slightly different functionality.
> If you have no man page for them as it is currently the case you have no luck.

Right now in the linux world I have a good chance of not being able to
compile a binary that will work on multiple distributions. That's the
immediate issue that needs to get fixed--binary compatibility. There are
other issues related to that (such as file locations, etc.) Not having
man pages is a completely different class of problem. The argument about
binaries with incompatible arguments is specious--an lsb program relying
on behavior not defined in the lsb is out of spec regardless of whether
that behavior is documented in a manpage. And lsb behavior is documented
in a big honkin' binder with LSB written on the front, so manpages
aren't *required* for documented behavior either.

The lsb is never going to go anywhere if people try to use it as a club
to push their own pet projects. If your distribution of choice doesn't
have man pages then complain to them--it's not part of the minimum set
that the lsb *must* specify. Maybe after the more important issues are
all resolved there will be time for things like mandating man pages and
demystifying dotfiles.

Mike Stone

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