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Posted Sep 6, 2008 14:47 UTC (Sat) by bronson (subscriber, #4806)
Posted Sep 6, 2008 16:47 UTC (Sat) by paulj (subscriber, #341)
he GNU Info documentation format is pretty nice from the user's perspective (once you use pinfo), shame it never caught on outside of GNU. The Texinfo markup language for producing info docs has some quirks (e.g. having to escape full-stops in some situations), but those could probably be fixed.
Posted Sep 6, 2008 16:55 UTC (Sat) by giraffedata (subscriber, #1954)
[another killer feature that tradition man has that the proposed replacement doesn't is] that you can trivially search the entire topic (page). You ever try to find something in pinfo when you can't remember what page it's on? It gets tedious quick.
You're referring to the fact that in these systems you can (and therefore do) break a manual up into subtopics such as a separate page per subcommand. (Though I haven't actually experienced it with pinfo; when I've used pinfo, the entire topic, e.g. GNU libc, has been one searchable unit).
That's a good point, and one that has always bugged me about the worldwide web too. I don't suppose it would be hard to achieve that by having a browser function to combine the entire tree below the index page into a single document. Then you can still organize the documentation by directory hierarchy and provide direct access to a page, but also be able to browse the entire topic at once.
Posted Sep 6, 2008 23:32 UTC (Sat) by bronson (subscriber, #4806)
That's really good to hear that Info allows you to search whole documents. Last I looked at Info (probably the late 90s), I feel like it could only search by the page you were on or the woefully incomplete indexes. Though, maybe it did, the memory is getting hazy... :)
Posted Sep 6, 2008 16:29 UTC (Sat) by giraffedata (subscriber, #1954)
man's killer feature compared to your system is that it doesn't require network access to work.
My system has that feature. It requires network access only for documentation that is on the network (which is totally unreachable with traditional man). If you have "man pages" in /usr/man, my program reads them from there (still via Lynx, but with a file: URL).
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