Karsten M. Self kmself at
Tue Aug 28 04:26:17 UTC 2001

on Mon, Aug 27, 2001 at 08:09:50PM -0700, David Johnson (david at wrote:
> On Monday 27 August 2001 07:25 pm, Karsten M. Self wrote:
> > As much GNU/Linux development
> > happens outside the immediate auspices of the FSF, the old "GNU
> > discourages man" gripe fails.
> Since much of the userland and environment for Linux comes from GNU,
> GNU's attitudes towards man pages is particularly relevant. Even
> projects which are not under the GNU auspices frequently follow the
> GNU standards.
> And here's what the GNU standards say (GNU Coding Standards):

I'll refer you to section 13.1 of Debian Policy, which begins:

    13.1. Manual pages

    You should install manual pages in `nroff' source form, in appropriate
    places under `/usr/share/man'.  You should only use sections 1 to 9
    (see the FHS for more details).  You must not install a preformatted
    `cat page'.

    Each program, utility, and function should have an associated manpage
    included in the same package.  It is suggested that all configuration
    files also have a manual page included as well.

Regarding language, from section 1.1:

    Non-conformance with guidelines denoted by _should_ (or
    _recommended_) will generally be considered a bug, but will not
    necessarily render a package unsuitable for distribution.

GNU's misguided (in this case) preferences need not be visited on
GNU/Linux distros, and the policies of FSF/GNU may be countermanded at
the distro level.

Karsten M. Self <kmself at>
 What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?             There is no K5 cabal     
   Free Dmitry! Boycott Adobe! Repeal the DMCA!
Geek for Hire              
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