User: Password:
|
|
Subscribe / Log in / New account

Thanks

Thanks

Posted Mar 24, 2004 8:54 UTC (Wed) by vondo (guest, #256)
Parent article: The Grumpy Editor's Guide to Image Viewers

I just wanted to say "thanks" for this series of articles. Often we all carp about how you missed this or that, etc. But they are really useful as one of the hardest things about Free software (and Unix in general) is *finding* the great software that's out there.

Unix rant for the day: Why is it that in the 1980's VMS had a *fantastic* help system and we are still stuck using man and the very un-intuitive to use "info?" They both royally suck compared to something that existed 20 or more years ago.


(Log in to post comments)

Thanks: me too

Posted Mar 24, 2004 12:26 UTC (Wed) by evgeny (guest, #774) [Link]

I second this. "The Grumpy Editor's" series is alone worth the subscription price. I believe it deserves its own top-level header/link alongside with "Archives/Kernel/ etc". Also, a few other LWN articles (including contributed ones - like the recent about CVS & friends) concentrating on _comparison_ of similar products belong to the same "gold" stuff.

The amount of comments these articles provoke (concurring only with the hottest SCO reviews ;-)) say for themselves.

> Why is it that in the 1980's VMS had a *fantastic* help system and we are
> still stuck using man and the very un-intuitive to use "info?" They both
> royally suck compared to something that existed 20 or more years ago.

I agree that "info" the application sucks. But info the format is ok. I suggest you try alternative viewers. E.g. tkinfo, minfo (Motif-based) and pinfo (curses). All support mouse clicks; the latter displays man pages, too.

Thanks: me too

Posted Mar 24, 2004 14:39 UTC (Wed) by diegor (subscriber, #1967) [Link]

IMHO Vms help sucks... Yes, it had a nice interface, but usally you can't find more than a very terse list of option. Info, even if had a less intuitive interface have the following enancehment:

- hypertext, and not only a *pure* gerarchy of menu.
- you can search for string through the whole manual
- you can print the manual
- you can scroll

Even with man you can search for a string inside the man page, but not with
vms help. Of course I'm comparing help on command line...

Thanks: me too

Posted Mar 24, 2004 18:42 UTC (Wed) by vondo (guest, #256) [Link]

Thanks, I'll look into one of those next time I find myself consulting 'info'

Optimal would be a CGI or PHP based program that would dynamically translate 'info' into HTML. Any such product like that out there?

texinfo in HTML is trivial

Posted Mar 24, 2004 19:41 UTC (Wed) by nix (subscriber, #2304) [Link]

Er, makeinfo --html?

(It's good enough for GNU's on-line manual pages...)

Admittedly, you can't search multi-node HTML documents without external tools (which makes me wonder why anyone bothers with it as a primary documentation format.)

Thanks: me too

Posted Mar 24, 2004 20:59 UTC (Wed) by dswegen (guest, #4431) [Link]

info2www is a CGI program that does exactly that. Pretty reasonable it is too...

Info

Posted Mar 25, 2004 4:08 UTC (Thu) by rfunk (subscriber, #4054) [Link]

If you use Konqueror you can get to info pages with a URL like info:/gzip.

Info

Posted Apr 1, 2004 18:59 UTC (Thu) by mikachu (guest, #5333) [Link]

this works in galeon (and probably epiphany) too

Thanks: me too

Posted Mar 25, 2004 3:46 UTC (Thu) by iabervon (subscriber, #722) [Link]

My feeling is that "info" is a fine format, and the viewer in emacs is a
fine viewer (the standalone program manages to be terrible, despite being
barely different from the emacs one). The main problem is that there
isn't a standard organization of the information in the file, and all of
the examples I've seen are very hard to use for reference. (For example,
by looking at the info node for "ls", try to figure out what -F does,
what the default colors are, and how to get other colors; I had to go to
a pre-info man page to find out some of this, since the current man pages
have removed all of the information that isn't in the info nodes).


Copyright © 2017, Eklektix, Inc.
Comments and public postings are copyrighted by their creators.
Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds