Reply to post: Re: Rule #1 : Read the man pages

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Trixr Bronze badge

Re: Rule #1 : Read the man pages

I have to put a big caveat in here, that SOME man pages are excellent. But there are so many full of endless cruft, and it's a fairly unintuitive format - obviously written by old-school engineers.

When I was a real newb, I was endlessly frustrated with the endless advice to "read the man page" when I needed a quick one-line solution to an issue. WHICH man page? (Sorry, man -k can find even more cruft.) Then multipage listings of obscure switches that are never used in real life and lengthy explanations of underlying architecture can make it almost impossible to get to the info you need. Not to mention the idiosyncratic format and use of conventions that a naive user find difficult to decipher.

The famous example of sudoers 5 is a great case in point. Ok, after traversing many many pages, you get to some examples of how the thing might work, but wow, it's a mission.

So, sure, I think any documentation is better than none (a particular curse for opensource), but the accessibility of many of those pages could be vastly improved.

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