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BitJam
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 11:39 pm    Post subject: Worst man page ever Reply with quote

I vote for sudoers.5 as the worst man page ever. Using EBNF to describe the format is very confusing. It adds an extra layer of abstraction that makes it difficult (for me at least) to distinguish between abstract concepts like 'Default_Entry' or 'Default_List' and literals that actual go in the file like 'Defaults'.

I would forgive them if they gave decent examples of everything but they don't. There are tons of examples but they seem to repeat the same concepts over and over without showing all of the basic syntax.

BitJam's rule of man pages: If a man page needs to include the definition of a new language then it should be re-written in english.
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wayward
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 12:13 am    Post subject: Re: Worst man page ever Reply with quote

BitJam wrote:
I vote for sudoers.5 as the worst man page ever.



dude, you are totally right - it gets my vote. thankfully i'm the only one who uses this box, cause if i had to set up sudoers for a whole bunch of users i'd cry.

sudoers.5 wrote:

sudoers - list of which users may execute what


sounds simple enough... :)

sudoers.5 wrote:

The grammar of sudoers will be described below...


uhhhh... it has a grammar? :?

sudoers.5 wrote:

...in Extended Backus-Naur Form (EBNF).


extended backus-wtf!? 8O

sudoers.5 wrote:

Don't despair if you don't know what EBNF is, it is fairly simple and the definitions below are annotated.


oh ok, good... :lol:

sudoers.5 wrote:

User ::= '!'* username |
'!'* '#'uid |
'!'* '%'group |
'!'* '+'netgroup |
'!'* User_Alias


:cry:
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Saa
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

8O

...I've never seen that man page before...omg...
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adsmith
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My vote:
Code:
man revdep-rebuild
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MaxPolun
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

adsmith wrote:
My vote:
Code:
man revdep-rebuild

"This man page intentionally left blank' :)

I think the mogrify manpage is the most amusing: here's the summery:
Code:
mogrify- mogrify an image


very helpful
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wswartzendruber
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hold on, let me look at sudoers.5...

EDIT: Ahhh...yeah. I'll just stick with the su command for now.
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pjp
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The worst are the pages that inform you to "See info page for more details" or whatever the message is. Info pages are the worst creation ever.
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porodzila
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

whats an info-page
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Imek
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 8:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Worst man page ever Reply with quote

BitJam wrote:
I vote for sudoers.5 as the worst man page ever. Using EBNF to describe the format is very confusing. It adds an extra layer of abstraction that makes it difficult (for me at least) to distinguish between abstract concepts like 'Default_Entry' or 'Default_List' and literals that actual go in the file like 'Defaults'.

I would forgive them if they gave decent examples of everything but they don't. There are tons of examples but they seem to repeat the same concepts over and over without showing all of the basic syntax.

BitJam's rule of man pages: If a man page needs to include the definition of a new language then it should be re-written in english.


I agree wholeheartedly. When I was first getting sudo to work, I tried so hard to make some sense of that page and failed miserably. I eventually resorted to doing a google search for a howto.

pjp wrote:
The worst are the pages that inform you to "See info page for more details" or whatever the message is. Info pages are the worst creation ever.


I feel the same way.
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/dev/random
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

porodzila wrote:
whats an info-page

Ignorance is bliss. Type info info and you can start the confusion!
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meinstein
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found this page while searching for help on understanding the sudoers.5 manfile.

My vote definitely goes there.
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porodzila
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

no thanks
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MaxPolun
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

what's wrong with info? I like info. Man pages are good summeries of how to call a program, but info pages are good explinations of all the options and features.

by the way if you want to learn BNF type info bison :)
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Trevoke
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Code:
      ?       Means that the preceding symbol (or group of symbols) is
               optional.  That is, it may appear once or not at all.

       *       Means that the preceding symbol (or group of symbols) may
               appear zero or more times.

       +       Means that the preceding symbol (or group of symbols) may
               appear one or more times.


What's so hard about that?
I mean, I didn't even fail the course in college where my incompetent teacher taught us BNF (EBNF ... *gag*).
This being said, it makes as much sense as chmod vs umask ... :)
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pjp
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MaxPolun wrote:
what's wrong with info? I like info. Man pages are good summeries of how to call a program, but info pages are good explinations of all the options and features.
Well, on the occaisions I've dared to type info <blah>, I was irritated. The info pages were useless, and I find man pages are usually far more than summaries. I skimmed the title-thread man page, and didn't find it all that bad. Perhaps its because I have an idea of how it works already.
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slougi
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The kde help program makes reading info pages pretty simple. Try it out if you have it installed :)
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Morimando
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

okay the manpage described really sucks..
btw.. anyone ever dared reading the mplayer manpage? Well THAT IS LITERATURE ;)
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