[rescue] info trumps man

Michael Parson mparson at bl.org
Thu Jan 19 10:23:51 CST 2006

On Wed, Jan 18, 2006 at 06:30:34PM -0500, Phil Stracchino wrote:


>> There's absolutely nothing wrong with man pages and they are *much*
>> more useful than info pages.... unless you use emacs as your shell
>> and sit inside it all day long.  Which I don't.  I hate it when gnu
>> tools take a perfectly good man page that was originally shipping
>> with the tool and instead replace it with a stub that says "look at
>> our info page, you dumb shit" and the info docs are *worse* than what
>> was in the original man page.  One step forward, two steps back.
> What he ... er, THEY said.  (DAMN YOU, RICHARD STALLMAN!)  The man
> system Just Works.  You basically need to know one command to use it,
> and it's an obvious and intuitive step to use it on itself in order to
> learn more simply by typing "man man".
> Unless you live, eat and breathe emacs, info is a nightmare.  Every
> time I try to look up anything using info, I end up getting lost in a
> maze of cryptic sub-modes and ctrl-meta-shift-X alt-meta-F2 commands,
> unable to get out, and resorting to a 'pkill info' from another xterm.
> A documentation system that may be used by people completely new to
> Unix and all Unix software should not require a friggin' embedded
> tutorial mode just to teach them how to use it.

Can't remember the list that suggested it, but somone pointed me at the
pinfo program for info reading.  It's set up more like the lynx web
browser and lets you use your more familiar cursor keys to navigate the
(still horrible) info pages.

> I've always said thet emacs isn't an editor, it's a text-mode
> operating/windowing environment with delusions of being a text editor.
> It is the end-case of creeping featuritis. info is the documentation
> system naturally resulting from the mindset that produced emacs.

One of my favorite quotes from earlier days of usenet that grew out of a
mockery of the vi vs emacs flame-wars:

"You mean emacs can edit text?  Wow, it really can do everything."

Wish I could attribute that to the original author, but I've long since

Michael Parson
mparson at bl.org

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