Posted Sep 5, 2008 22:58 UTC (Fri) by giraffedata
In reply to: man pages
Parent article: Feature removal sparks Git flamewar
Man is obsolete in so many ways. Few parts of Unix have endured so long without upgrade.
One problem, as has been pointed out, is its flatness, which not only makes it impossible to go right to information you want (you have to navigate through thousands of lines of the git "page" to find the subcommand you want, or else make git a hundred separate main commands), but also crowds the namespace.
The fact that it can't get the text from the network also places it in olden times. There's lots of information you have to get today by browsing the web that would be much nicer via a quick shell command.
And finally, the source is in the ancient nroff and troff languages, which are now unique to man. And don't hyperlink.
I wrote a replacement almost 10 years ago that is based on Lynx and can find pages locally or on the web, in a hierarchical structure. (It works -- I use it exclusively for locally developed stuff). While I've watched more and more documentation move to the web, I haven't seen 'man' keep up with it. So it's actually getting harder to look something up.
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