Why questions don't get answered, or "No, I've already RTFM, tell me the answer!"

Kam Leo kam.leo at gmail.com
Fri Dec 30 01:40:02 UTC 2005

On 12/29/05, Les Mikesell <lesmikesell at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, 2005-12-29 at 09:07, Charles Howse wrote:
> > My first experience with Linux was when I bought a book about Linux that
> > contained Red Hat 5.  Didn't know what a man page was until I finished
> > reading the book.  Today I am still dumbfounded sometimes by the lack of
> > help contained in a man page, or by the over abundance of terms that I have
> > to stop and look up, then try and understand whether that applies to my
> > situation.
> You really have to understand what the shell does to every
> command line before starting a program before reading other
> man pages. The concepts of i/o redirection, wildcard filename
> expansion, and environment variable setting are not repeated
> in the man pages for every program even though they may be
> useful or even necessary.  Man pages are meant to be a reference,
> not a tutorial.  A tutorial should be a separate volume since
> you normally only need it once and never want to see it again
> while you may need the reference for obscure options later.
> Unfortunately, a tutorial doesn't exist for some programs
> you might want to use.
> --
>   Les Mikesell
>     lesmikesell at gmail.com

It would greatly help if most of the man pages included examples of usage.

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