Zsh Mailing List Archive
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Re: Man pages missing

<> I commented to RC separately about the documentation.  Personally I think
<> the man pages and the manual should be separated.  The man pages should be
<> very brief, to the point that the zsh man page could be only a couple of
<> pages long.
<This is the approach some programs use (e.g. elm), and some not
<(Perl, Emacs[1]).  It is simply a matter of choice; I like the choice
<zsh developers made.

Perl is a bad example, since there are books available in your local book
store.  Zsh has no such book and really needs one.

<> Using FrameMaker would also allow for the document to be turned into a PDF
<> file for on-line help.  Frankly, the current help files are old fashioned.
<> A state-of-the-art shell needs state-of-the-art manuals.
<I don't see anything wrong with the "old-fashioned" help currently
<used.  Before thinking about converting to something different, one
<should think about all the advantages of PDF over TexInfo?  Is there a
<freely available viewer for PDF files?  Can they be viewed on a text

Advantages: graphical, can included visual examples (though I admit that there
     isn't much in the way of graphics :-); the user can scale the size of
     the help pages to suite the needs of the user; hypertext TOC and index;
     just to name a few.

Disadvantages: doesn't work on text-only systems (how many of these are
     still around (one shouldn't cripple the on-line help because of a lack of
     X-windows); paging thru the pages and lines is not obvious

I've used texinfo a few times and do not like the interface.  One tends to
hit the return key to move down lines.  Well, that can't be done in texinfo
help files (at least that is the way it used to be, is it still that way?).

In any event one can argue about the best way for both systems.  I personally
prefer a physical copy of a manual.  With PDF the user has the choice of
using it on-line or printing it and making a copy that looks just like
the on-line version, graphics and all.  A pure text manual from texinfo
can't do that.  Of course, the source files for the text processor would
be available and FrameMaker allows for the documentation to be used on all
three major platforms; Unix, PC, Mac.

Again, these are my thoughts.

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