new 'man' behavior: "ask questions instead of answer": HOWTO REVERT?

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new 'man' behavior: "ask questions instead of answer": HOWTO REVERT?

L A Walsh
In SuSE 11.1, the behavior of man seems to be "broken"

If one wanted all man pages, the manpage for man says
to use "man -a", else it gives the first one found.

It says nothing about asking a question.

How do I turn off the question and have it just show me the first one
found again?

Is the search order able to be specified?

Like I'd prefer it return commands from sections 1 and 8 before
API pages.

But the bit about asking a question is very 'un-unix like'...
more like...um....Windows?
like delete default settings:
      (are you sure you want to move doodoo-file to Trash?, yes/no)

   Well, don't ask, just do!

:-)

I want my man to give me it's best answer, not equivocate and ask
more questions!  :-)

thanks,
linda



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Re: new 'man' behavior: "ask questions instead of answer": HOWTO REVERT?

Claes Backstrom
On Tue, May 26, 2009 at 8:51 PM, Linda Walsh <[hidden email]> wrote:
> In SuSE 11.1, the behavior of man seems to be "broken"
>
> If one wanted all man pages, the manpage for man says
> to use "man -a", else it gives the first one found.
>
> It says nothing about asking a question.
>
> How do I turn off the question and have it just show me the first one
> found again?

Use this in your ~/.bashrc
export MAN_POSIXLY_CORRECT=1

Warm Regards,
Claes Backstrom
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Re: new 'man' behavior: "ask questions instead of answer": HOWTO REVERT?

Cristian Rodríguez-2
In reply to this post by L A Walsh
Linda Walsh escribió:
> In SuSE 11.1, the behavior of man seems to be "broken"

It is not broken, but different. simply follow Claes advice to get back
the old behaviour.

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Re: new 'man' behavior: "ask questions instead of answer": HOWTO REVERT?

L A Walsh
Cristian Rodríguez wrote:
> Linda Walsh escribió:
>> In SuSE 11.1, the behavior of man seems to be "broken"
>
> It is not broken, but different. simply follow Claes advice to get back
> the old behaviour.
>
----
        Black is white and white is black...I know the drill...

So why shouldn't newly created users have had a
export NEXPERT_VERBOSE=1

to their profiles, rather than changing the behavior for old
users?


That is sorta what it is, isn't it?  The suse proj/team is adding more
user-friendly features for non-experts...which they want to default on
for new users...
Seems like 1 flag set for newly created users in the default template
would do it.

Then older users could ask for that behavior by setting it in their
profile or they'd retain the older 'brevity-first' behavior by default?

I do understand the desire and direction...but wish they'd do it in
a way to default in changes for new users and 1 global to toggle off
all of the newer 'help added' features....

Could be overridden with tool-by-tool switches, but when individual
tool switch (i.e. MAN_POSIXLY_CORRECT) isn't present, go with global
.. and making the new switch "MAN_POSIXLY_CORRECT makes it sound like
a negative -- usually it removes added gnu functionality like added
switches and such...but in this case, it's reverting to previous
gnu behavior.  Or...is this the new 'gnu' man trend as well?...(Ick!)
(sigh)

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Re: Re: new 'man' behavior: "ask questions instead of answer": HOWTO REVERT?

Patrick Shanahan-2
* Linda Walsh <[hidden email]> [01-01-70 11:34]:

> Black is white and white is black...I know the drill...
>
> So why shouldn't newly created users have had a
> export NEXPERT_VERBOSE=1
>
> to their profiles, rather than changing the behavior for old
> users?
>
>
> That is sorta what it is, isn't it?  The suse proj/team is adding more
> user-friendly features for non-experts...which they want to default on
> for new users...
> Seems like 1 flag set for newly created users in the default template
> would do it.
>

Humm, might be a good time to get your feet wet and submit a bug
report suggesting that the "default" for 11.1 is not optimal and
should be as it was  :^).

Anxious to see the report number...
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Re: Re: new 'man' behavior: "ask questions instead of answer": HOWTO REVERT?

Doug McGarrett
In reply to this post by L A Walsh
Linda Walsh wrote:

> Cristian Rodríguez wrote:
>> Linda Walsh escribió:
>>> In SuSE 11.1, the behavior of man seems to be "broken"
>>
>> It is not broken, but different. simply follow Claes advice to get back
>> the old behaviour.
>>
> ----
>     Black is white and white is black...I know the drill...
>
> So why shouldn't newly created users have had a
> export NEXPERT_VERBOSE=1
>
> to their profiles, rather than changing the behavior for old
> users?
>
>
> That is sorta what it is, isn't it?  The suse proj/team is adding more
> user-friendly features for non-experts...which they want to default on
> for new users...
> Seems like 1 flag set for newly created users in the default template
> would do it.
>
> Then older users could ask for that behavior by setting it in their
> profile or they'd retain the older 'brevity-first' behavior by default?
>
> I do understand the desire and direction...but wish they'd do it in
> a way to default in changes for new users and 1 global to toggle off
> all of the newer 'help added' features....
>
> Could be overridden with tool-by-tool switches, but when individual
> tool switch (i.e. MAN_POSIXLY_CORRECT) isn't present, go with global
> .. and making the new switch "MAN_POSIXLY_CORRECT makes it sound like
> a negative -- usually it removes added gnu functionality like added
> switches and such...but in this case, it's reverting to previous
> gnu behavior.  Or...is this the new 'gnu' man trend as well?...(Ick!)
> (sigh)
>
> My Linux machine is not doing Internet at the moment, but
>  
I would like to comment:  many users ( I would guess) of Linux OS's, are not
used to UNIX systems, which Linux  basically copies.  MAN pages are not
very helpful to those who are not in the IT business.  (Perhaps even to
them,
as many of the inputs to this forum have shown.)   Many of the books
which are
available for Linux seem to assume a familiarity with UNIX.  It is time
that the
OS's  contributors  take a more friendly view of their possible users, and
make the system more user-friendly.  I hate to say, more Windows-like, but
at least more DOS/CPM like.  Well, flame me, I suppose, but I think this
would be useful.

--doug

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Re: Re: new 'man' behavior: "ask questions instead of answer": HOWTO REVERT?

John Perry
D. McGarrett wrote:
> Linda Walsh wrote:
>> Cristian Rodríguez wrote:
>>> ...
> OS's  contributors  take a more friendly view of their possible users, and
> make the system more user-friendly.  I hate to say, more Windows-like, but
> at least more DOS/CPM like.  Well, flame me, I suppose, but I think this
> would be useful.
>

...so, Doug, let me deflect the flames from you by attracting them to
myself :-).

I've used unix for decades, and I've always despised the stupid man
paradigm.  Basically, to find anything in man, you have to know it
already, and even apropos doesn't help a lot.  A curses implementation
would have helped, but it was never developed, as far as I know.

Gnu info promised a better environment, but it was sabotaged by the
keyboard-only mindset of its writers, so it's not much of an improvement.

For an example of _good_ man pages written by old-line experts who
weren't chained to obsolete paradigms, take a look the documentation at
www.tcl.tk.  This is a beautiful example of what modern paradigms can do
with a few simple mouse clicks (really, now, does anyone here _not_ have
a mouse?).  Html is _so_ much better a way to find your needed
information, even if you already know it all.  If you don't, man and
info are more hindrances than helps.

So now, you're safe, Doug :-).

John Perry
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Re: Re: new 'man' behavior: "ask questions instead of answer": HOWTO REVERT?

Patrick Shanahan-2
* John E. Perry <[hidden email]> [05-26-09 20:43]:
> Html is _so_ much better a way to find your needed information, even
> if you already know it all.  If you don't, man and info are more
> hindrances than helps.

I fail to see that html of a vague man page is of any more help than
the text version, but you are welcome to it.  

The man pages *are* of little use to those who refuse to read or try
to read them.  You must remember that they are usually written by the
programmer who is a programmer, and not necessary a linguistics
expert.  You do have the option of contributing a *better* version of
the man page that you find lacking, rather than just bashing the writer/
programmer for his poor efforts, in your eyes.

> So now, you're safe, Doug :-).

from you, but there is a large world looking on.

and I do not require a mouse to read man pages  :^).
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Re: Re: new 'man' behavior: "ask questions instead of answer": HOWTO REVERT?

Randall Schulz
In reply to this post by John Perry
On Tuesday May 26 2009, John E. Perry wrote:
> ...
>
> ...  A curses implementation would have helped,
> but it was never developed, as far as I know.

Konqueror has info: and man: viewers that render the respective
documentation entries into a GUI-fied form with mouse-activatable
hyperlinks (in the case of info:, anyway).


> ...
>
> John Perry


Randall Schulz
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Re: Re: new 'man' behavior: "ask questions instead of answer": HOWTO REVERT?

John Perry
In reply to this post by Patrick Shanahan-2
Patrick Shanahan wrote:
> * John E. Perry <[hidden email]> [05-26-09 20:43]:
>> Html is _so_ much better a way to find your needed information, even
>> if you already know it all.  If you don't, man and info are more
>> hindrances than helps.
>
> I fail to see that html of a vague man page is of any more help than
> the text version, but you are welcome to it.  
>

Patrick, even if the man page is "vague", good documentation (like the
tcl/tk documentation) starts with a list of all available commands with
brief descriptions of what they are and do.

Then hyperlinks take you to the page itself, which starts by listing all
the options with brief descriptions of what they are and do.

Then hyperlinks take you to the details, which, as you point out, depend
a great deal upon the attention the programmers devote to them.

Finally, hyperlinks cross-link to similar and dependent commands.  Sure,
you still have to do the reading, but you don't spend all your time
trying to find something you're not even sure exists, or something that
attracted your attention deep in the text, but turns out not to be
relevant.

> The man pages *are* of little use to those who refuse to read or try
> to read them.  

Ah, yes, the old sneer that "it's your own fault this piece of crap
doesn't help you because you won't use it."  Well, guess what, Patrick
-- I do read them.  I don't have a choice.  Between my shelf of
unix/linux books and the man pages, I eventually find what I need.

When I say I've _used_ unix for decades, I mean just that.  I'm not a
systems administrator; not a systems programmer; usually not even an
applications programmer, although I have done a good deal of that.  So I
don't get to use the man pages enough to memorize them.  I need
reminding of what's available, as the tcl documentation gives me.  As an
(usually) embedded systems engineer, and linux user mainly in protest
against Microsoft's depredations, I don't get to sift through the man
pages every day, over and over again.  I have work to do that doesn't
involve unix or linux, and an outside life that has interests other than
linux commands.  man wastes a good deal of my time.

You must remember that they are usually written by the
> programmer who is a programmer, and not necessary a linguistics
> expert.  

I'm quite aware of that, and that fact makes it even more important to
have a _good_, _modern_ base for building documentation.

You do have the option of contributing a *better* version of
> the man page that you find lacking, rather than just bashing the writer/
> programmer for his poor efforts, in your eyes.

Now you're deliberately misunderstanding me, as I expected.  I don't
have that option.  I don't know enough about unix/linux, even after all
these part-time years, and I don't have the time.  Or, to be honest, the
will.

>
>> So now, you're safe, Doug :-).
>
> from you, but there is a large world looking on.
>

But no one has lit into Doug yet :-).

> and I do not require a mouse to read man pages  :^).

Nor do I.  In fact, as I mentioned above, I _can't_ use one :-(.

jp

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Re: Re: new 'man' behavior: "ask questions instead of answer": HOWTO REVERT?

John Perry
In reply to this post by Randall Schulz
Randall R Schulz wrote:

> On Tuesday May 26 2009, John E. Perry wrote:
>> ...
>>
>> ...  A curses implementation would have helped,
>> but it was never developed, as far as I know.
>
> Konqueror has info: and man: viewers that render the respective
> documentation entries into a GUI-fied form with mouse-activatable
> hyperlinks (in the case of info:, anyway).
>
>

Arggh! you're right, Randall.  I use it all the time.  Doesn't help at
work, where there's no kde, but at home, it's invaluable.

Got so involved in my argument, I let that one slip by :-).

jp
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Re: Re: new 'man' behavior: "ask questions instead of answer": HOWTO REVERT?

Carlos E. R.-3
In reply to this post by L A Walsh
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1



On Tuesday, 2009-05-26 at 12:52 -0700, Linda Walsh wrote:

> Cristian Rodríguez wrote:
>>  Linda Walsh escribió:
>> >  In SuSE 11.1, the behavior of man seems to be "broken"
>>
>>  It is not broken, but different. simply follow Claes advice to get back
>>  the old behaviour.
>>
> ----
> Black is white and white is black...I know the drill...
>
> So why shouldn't newly created users have had a
> export NEXPERT_VERBOSE=1
>
> to their profiles, rather than changing the behavior for old
> users?
I prefer the new behaviour. It reminds me that there is another man page
of the same name in which I might be interested - and often I am. If it
keeps silent, the old way, I might think the info I got was insufficient
and never guess there is another page.

New hand? I'm not that new, you know... :-)

- --
Cheers,
        Carlos E. R.

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Re: new 'man' behavior: "ask questions instead of answer": HOWTO REVERT?

Joachim Schrod
In reply to this post by Doug McGarrett
John E. Perry wrote:

> D. McGarrett wrote:
>> Linda Walsh wrote:
>>> Cristian Rodríguez wrote:
>>>> ...
>> OS's  contributors  take a more friendly view of their possible users, and
>> make the system more user-friendly.  I hate to say, more Windows-like, but
>> at least more DOS/CPM like.  Well, flame me, I suppose, but I think this
>> would be useful.
>>
>
> ...so, Doug, let me deflect the flames from you by attracting them to
> myself :-).
>
> I've used unix for decades, and I've always despised the stupid man
> paradigm.  Basically, to find anything in man, you have to know it
> already, and even apropos doesn't help a lot.  A curses implementation
> would have helped, but it was never developed, as far as I know.

Having struggled for the last few days to learn more about HAL,
ConsoleKit, and PackageKit, I would have loved if there would be
man pages that are as succinct and precise as they are for standard
Single Unix(tm) functionality. Instead one follows one Web site to
the other with horrible formatting and unstructured information.
There is a reason why POSIX followed the man page paradigms in its
write up, there is even a rational in the standard.

Concerning curses implementation -- why not a GUI? For the old
timers, there has always been xman and tkman, of course. Both also
provide a browser for man pages.
To get an overview, there is an intro man page in each section.

Full text search in man pages is supplied by several options that
were not available in the past, admittedly.

Concerning GNU info -- I don't know what you mean about
keyboard-centric. My Emacs has a full WIMP interface for it. The
info program is only an afterthought for those vi lusers. (Donning
on asbesto underwear and ducking... ;-)

        Joachim

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Re: new 'man' behavior: "ask questions instead of answer": HOWTO REVERT?

Joachim Schrod
In reply to this post by Doug McGarrett
Joachim Schrod wrote:

> John E. Perry wrote:
>>
>> I've used unix for decades, and I've always despised the stupid man
>> paradigm.  Basically, to find anything in man, you have to know it
>> already, and even apropos doesn't help a lot.  A curses implementation
>> would have helped, but it was never developed, as far as I know.
>
> Concerning curses implementation -- why not a GUI? For the old
> timers, there has always been xman and tkman, of course. Both also
> provide a browser for man pages.
> To get an overview, there is an intro man page in each section.
>
> Full text search in man pages is supplied by several options that
> were not available in the past, admittedly.

I hate to replying to myself -- but do you realize that both man
pages and info documentation are also presented by susehelp?
Section "Administration / Linux Documentation". Maybe there are
even searchable there, I haven't needed to use susehelp search much.

        Joachim

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Re: Re: new 'man' behavior: "ask questions instead of answer": HOWTO REVERT?

Rodney Baker-2
In reply to this post by Joachim Schrod
On Wed, 27 May 2009 16:08:55 Joachim Schrod wrote:

> Concerning GNU info -- I don't know what you mean about
> keyboard-centric. My Emacs has a full WIMP interface for it. The

Yes, and only WIMPs use Emacs...:-)

> info program is only an afterthought for those vi lusers. (Donning
> on asbesto underwear and ducking... ;-)

Real hackers program in vi...(you asked for it) ;-)

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Re: Re: new 'man' behavior: "ask questions instead of answer": HOWTO REVERT?

Dave Howorth
In reply to this post by John Perry
John E. Perry wrote:

> Randall R Schulz wrote:
>> On Tuesday May 26 2009, John E. Perry wrote:
>>> ...  A curses implementation would have helped,
>>> but it was never developed, as far as I know.
>> Konqueror has info: and man: viewers that render the respective
>> documentation entries into a GUI-fied form with mouse-activatable
>> hyperlinks (in the case of info:, anyway).
>
> Arggh! you're right, Randall.  I use it all the time.  Doesn't help at
> work, where there's no kde, but at home, it's invaluable.
>
> Got so involved in my argument, I let that one slip by :-).

I guess you also missed the online man pages at sites like
<http://linux.die.net/man/>. It has a top-level list with drill-down,
explanatory pages, hyperlinks between related pages (both go-to and
come-from).

You're criticizing man pages when what you're actually concerned about
is the navigation and surrounding features. The concerns are orthogonal,
please don't conflate them.

Doug, I believe you're also misdirecting your criticsm. You're asking
for a different type of documentation. There's no reason that shouldn't
exist *as well* as reference documentation like man pages. In fact it
does! There are many, many books about how to use Linux written for all
different levels of experience and in many styles and there are websites
like <http://www.tldp.org/> and others.

I use man pages regularly and mainly the online copies. I find the
suse-supplied browsers to be too much bother to use.

I'm with Linda. Keep man pages as they were! Follow the agreed, public
standards. Don't break backwards compatibility. The reason we use linux
and it is successful is because it is based on open standards. If you
want non-conforming behaviour, then add switches to allow it - though
I'd suggest it just complicates the code. Making an application or web
interface that encapsulates them and provides the functionality is a
better direction, IMHO.

The real question to me is why John and Doug got involved in this issue?
Why don't Konqueror and susehelp already cover their needs so
comprehensively that they don't care about Linda's request?

Cheers, Dave
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Re: Re: new 'man' behavior: "ask questions instead of answer": HOWTO REVERT?

Dave Howorth
In reply to this post by Rodney Baker-2
Rodney Baker wrote:
> Real hackers program in vi...(you asked for it) ;-)

Absolutely. That funny arrow thing over the gvim window is a major
distraction :)
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Re: Re: new 'man' behavior: "ask questions instead of answer": HOWTO REVERT?

James Knott
In reply to this post by Randall Schulz
Randall R Schulz wrote:

> On Tuesday May 26 2009, John E. Perry wrote:
>  
>> ...
>>
>> ...  A curses implementation would have helped,
>> but it was never developed, as far as I know.
>>    
>
> Konqueror has info: and man: viewers that render the respective
> documentation entries into a GUI-fied form with mouse-activatable
> hyperlinks (in the case of info:, anyway).
>  

Also, with Konqueror, you can hit Alt-F2# for man or Alt-F2## for info

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Re: Re: new 'man' behavior: "ask questions instead of answer": HOWTO REVERT?

Roger Oberholtzer
On Wed, 2009-05-27 at 07:36 -0400, James Knott wrote:
> Randall R Schulz wrote:

> Also, with Konqueror, you can hit Alt-F2# for man or Alt-F2## for info

Or, in vi, shift-k over a word brings up the man page. Great while
programming.


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Re: Re: new 'man' behavior: "ask questions instead of answer": HOWTO REVERT?

Rodney Baker-2
In reply to this post by Dave Howorth
On Wed, 27 May 2009 20:59:18 Dave Howorth wrote:
> Rodney Baker wrote:
> > Real hackers program in vi...(you asked for it) ;-)
>
> Absolutely. That funny arrow thing over the gvim window is a major
> distraction :)

CTRL-Alt-F1 usually fixes that :-).

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