Re: Are UNIX manpages obsolete?

Subject: Re: Are UNIX manpages obsolete?
From: Robert Plamondon <robert -at- PLAMONDON -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 30 Sep 1996 22:42:53 PDT

I've run into this concept a couple of times before. People will
assert that, because they've bundled complete on-line documentation into
their application, they don't need an old-fashioned UNIX man page.

This is great, except that now UNIX users have to know how to use
the application in order to find out how to use the application.

Any credible UNIX application will have a man page that tells you
the application's command-line syntax, relevant UNIX stuff such
as application-specific environment variables, and how to get
the on-line help to run in order to discover more information.

Any less than that is a grave disservice to the users.

Man pages such as I've described are easy to write (the formatting is
trivial) and don't change much from release to release. There's
no reason to dodge them.

-- Robert
Robert Plamondon, President/Managing Editor, High-Tech Technical Writing, Inc.
36475 Norton Creek Road * Blodgett * Oregon * 97326
robert -at- plamondon -dot- com * (541) 453-5841 * Fax: (541) 453-4139

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