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

jdow jdow at earthlink.net
Fri Dec 30 11:34:21 UTC 2005

From: "Gene Heskett" <gene.heskett at verizon.net>

> On Thursday 29 December 2005 22:36, Les Mikesell wrote:
>>On Thu, 2005-12-29 at 21:07, Gene Heskett wrote:
>>> >It would greatly help if most of the man pages included examples
>>> > of usage.
>>> Hear hear!!
>>Often the man pages have examples of the way the author expected
>>the program to be used.  However, there's still a good chance
>>that isn't exactly what you want to do with it.
> I submit to you all the manpages for bash.
> Paragraph after paragraph of explanation of this option and that option 
> in a quite verbose manner, and not a single actual example of a 
> command line, and the results it should return.  That makes writing 
> even a 10 line bash script into an extended reading and re-reading 
> session with heavy use of the manpages builtin grep because its so 
> poorly organized that the complete answer may be in 3 or more places 
> scattered through it.  And the chances of it doing what you wanted on 
> the first execution are slim to zip.  Bash scripts can be made to do 
> litterally anything you need them to do, but...  So I come to one of 
> these lists and ask for help, finally getting acceptable results in 
> 3-4 days, often using a method thats not at all clear in the manpages.  
> The help I have received on one list or another has often been far 
> more clearly and concisely stated than the manpages for bash that I 
> have printed out and bound, and read from end to end probably 30 times 
> now.
> I rest my case.

During the three or four days you're waiting for a GOOD answer you
could be perusing the system's various bash script files to see if
you can find an example of what you're trying to do. "Read the source,
Luke." It's an ironic funny. It actually can help if you are trying to
use a language to read some source code in that language and figure
out what it's doing. (That's another of my tricks to try to seem
wiser than I really am.)


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