Question of setting environment variables - Slackware

This is a discussion on Question of setting environment variables - Slackware ; On Sun, 28 Sep 2008, Mike wrote: > Responding to Grant: > > [...] >>> >>> So, my question has evolved into... >>> >>> * Why do we need a specialist reader/format for basic information? >> >> We don't -- ...

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Thread: Question of setting environment variables

  1. Re: Question of getting system/application information

    On Sun, 28 Sep 2008, Mike wrote:

    > Responding to Grant:
    >
    > [...]
    >>>
    >>> So, my question has evolved into...
    >>>
    >>> * Why do we need a specialist reader/format for basic information?

    >>
    >> We don't -- man pages are text with markup, just like web pages, just a
    >> different breed of markup, that's all. Your argument is weak...

    >
    > So I CAN read them in my browser then, a tool that my fingers know
    > instinctively, without having to read up on the reader I needed to read
    > about something else? No... hang on... just tried it. It doesn't WORK
    > that way! Dayam! I need a special reader to read those pages!
    >

    I just looked at a man page with lynx, and it displays fine, the only
    difference being the lack of highlighting, which perhaps can be fixed
    with some changes to a config file.

    I think, though, that you are arguing a false point. In the seven
    years I've been using Linux (which means seven years of using Slackware),
    I've never seen man as anything but invisible. It never gets in
    the way, it just displays the man page without any fuss. Indeed,
    I don't even think about how I'm invoking a command titled "man"
    and passing to it the specific man page I want to read, I think of
    it as looking at the man page for the thing I'm wanting to read.

    The man command is as invisible as cd or ls.

    Michael

  2. Re: Question of getting system/application information

    On 2008-09-28 at 11:33 ADT, Mike wrote:
    > Responding to Loki Harfagr:
    >
    >> On Sun, 28 Sep 2008 09:19:40 +0000, Mike sprout:
    >>
    >>> And all for just a text document with markup.
    >>>
    >>> So, my question has evolved into...
    >>>
    >>> * Why do we need a specialist reader/format for basic information?

    >>
    >> you don't, if you want to use the man page as straight text just
    >> tells it so:
    >> # man man -P cat
    >>
    >> you can even preset this and forget about it:
    >> # export MANPAGER=/bin/cat
    >>
    >> but it's all nitcpicking with a hay fork, the dire problem with manpages
    >> is not "how can we read them" but "can we read them" ;-)

    >
    >
    > Yeah, I KNOW things can be converted/scripted/altered, but thats not the
    > point of my question.
    >
    > Why do we need a special reader for specially formatted documentation at
    > all?


    Maybe because it does a better job than using a web (oops, HTML) browser?

    Can your HTML browser do regular expression searches?

    Can you set "bookmarks" at specific lines with your HTML browser so
    that you can easily flip back and forth in the man page you are reading?

    Can you imagine that not everyone wants to use some piece of bloatware
    every time they want to do something simple?

    > This is a legacy thing, and I suppose I'm arguing that its not only
    > obsolete, but arguably time consuming and distracting for today's
    > Linux user base.

    Your argument so far is very weak, please share some good points with
    me, I'm always keen to know about better ways to do things.

    > "We've always done it this way" doesn't cut the mustard when you've
    > jobs waiting and need to fix something before something else happens
    > as a result.

    Does this have something to do with reading man pages?

    > Or do we assume all Linux users go through a Linux Training Camp before
    > being allowed near a live terminal? "If you have a problem you WILL read
    > your man pages. IF you don't know all the tricks to using your man page
    > reader you WILL have another problem. IF you have another problem you
    > WILL NOT solve your first problem UNTIL you have learned to fly your man
    > page reader upside down while making a cup of tea and compiling the
    > latest X.org server in French! DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR MAGGOTS?" "SIR! YES
    > SIR!"

    Apparently you find your MANPAGER program (less, in my case) much more
    difficult to use than most people. But really, it isn't that hard to
    use it in a minimalist way. And if/when you come to the realization
    that you want something that is more than minimalist, you will find
    that there are other features to facilitate your man page reading.

    > Be honest. If the man page format did not already exist, would anybody
    > actually invent it today?

    That's a good question, which probably none of us can answer
    definitively. But people who aren't happy with the limitations of HTML
    browsers might invent something else.

    Cheers.
    Jim

  3. Re: Question of getting system/application information

    On Sun, 28 Sep 2008 14:33:32 +0000, Mike wrote:

    > Why do we need a special reader for specially formatted documentation at
    > all? This is a legacy thing, and I suppose I'm arguing that its not only
    > obsolete, but arguably time consuming and distracting for today's Linux
    > user base.


    Documentation is a total waste of time anyway. To benefit from it one
    needs to learn to read, and that takes an unbelievable amount of time
    that could more enjoyably be spent banging rocks together.

    And the people who write the documentation need to learn to write first,
    even if they already know how to read. How long does that take?

    Not only that, but the human brain consumes 20W. If we could all turn
    them off, the world could save about 1.4x10^11W. So don't let anyone
    ever try to tell you that Linux is more energy efficient than Windows.

  4. Re: Question of getting system/application information

    Mike wrote:
    >Yeah, I KNOW things can be converted/scripted/altered


    Read this as: you don't need a special reader because the data can be
    converted into whatever format you want.

    >Why do we need a special reader for specially formatted documentation
    >at all?


    Of course we don't "need" it. It's what's there and it works for a
    great many people. Lots of browsers display man pages, too.

    >Be honest. If the man page format did not already exist, would anybody
    >actually invent it today?


    No, it would be XML. It definitely would not be HTML.

    The current best solution would probably be use a man-to-Docbook
    converter and go from there. If you think there's a need for
    prepackaged man pages in XML, do it. Distribute it to anyone who wants
    it.

    There's absolutely no one stopping you. Really!

    -Beej


  5. Re: Question of setting environment variables

    Keith Keller wrote:
    >
    > If by "surprising" you mean "difficult to navigate", I agree.
    >
    > Look up the INVOCATION section of the manpage for bash. It has docs for
    > what files are sourced on startup. You'll see that there might be good


    Yea, I had something really screwed up with my startup a while back and couldn't
    figure out where it was coming from - had to turn to the man page to figure it
    out.

    - Kurt

  6. Re: Question of setting environment variables

    Rupa Zangpo wrote:
    >
    > No, no, no, NO! If you've got something to do with GNU Software, look up
    > the *info*-pages! 'info bash' is the way to go. There are no manpages
    > about GNU Software except the ones someone put together unofficially.


    I hate info - can't figure out how to navigate it. I guess I can read
    the man pages on it....

    - Kurt

  7. Re: Question of setting environment variables

    On September 27, 2008 08:57, in alt.os.linux.slackware, Rupa Zangpo
    (rupa.zangpo@web.de) wrote:

    > Keith Keller wrote:
    >>> "man bash" also has a surprising amount of information.

    >>
    >> If by "surprising" you mean "difficult to navigate", I agree.
    >>
    >> Look up the INVOCATION section of the manpage for bash.

    >
    > No, no, no, NO! If you've got something to do with GNU Software, look up
    > the *info*-pages! 'info bash' is the way to go.


    Hmmmmm... It looks like the info page disagrees with you

    File: bash.info, Node: Top, Next: Introduction, Prev: (dir), Up: (dir)

    Bash Features
    *************

    This text is a brief description of the features that are present in
    the Bash shell (version 3.1, 30 December 2005)..

    [snip]
    This manual is meant as a brief introduction to features found in
    Bash. The Bash manual page should be used as the definitive reference
    on shell behavior.

    Note the last statement above: "The Bash manual page should be used as the
    definitive reference on shell behaviour".

    > There are no manpages
    > about GNU Software except the ones someone put together unofficially.



    --
    Lew Pitcher

    Master Codewright & JOAT-in-training | Registered Linux User #112576
    http://pitcher.digitalfreehold.ca/ | GPG public key available by request
    ---------- Slackware - Because I know what I'm doing. ------



  8. Re: Question of setting environment variables

    On September 27, 2008 08:57, in alt.os.linux.slackware, Rupa Zangpo
    (rupa.zangpo@web.de) wrote:
    [snip]
    > No, no, no, NO!

    [snip]
    > There are no manpages
    > about GNU Software except the ones someone put together unofficially.


    It looks like you are wrong about that one as well (note the organization
    that author Brian Fox represents)

    From "man 1 bash"

    AUTHORS
    Brian Fox, Free Software Foundation
    bfox@gnu.org

    Chet Ramey, Case Western Reserve University
    chet@po.cwru.edu


    --
    Lew Pitcher

    Master Codewright & JOAT-in-training | Registered Linux User #112576
    http://pitcher.digitalfreehold.ca/ | GPG public key available by request
    ---------- Slackware - Because I know what I'm doing. ------



  9. Re: Question of setting environment variables

    On Sun, 28 Sep 2008, Lew Pitcher wrote:

    > On September 27, 2008 08:57, in alt.os.linux.slackware, Rupa Zangpo
    > (rupa.zangpo@web.de) wrote:
    >
    >> Keith Keller wrote:
    >>>> "man bash" also has a surprising amount of information.
    >>>
    >>> If by "surprising" you mean "difficult to navigate", I agree.
    >>>
    >>> Look up the INVOCATION section of the manpage for bash.

    >>
    >> No, no, no, NO! If you've got something to do with GNU Software, look up
    >> the *info*-pages! 'info bash' is the way to go.

    >
    > Hmmmmm... It looks like the info page disagrees with you
    >
    > File: bash.info, Node: Top, Next: Introduction, Prev: (dir), Up: (dir)
    >
    > Bash Features
    > *************
    >
    > This text is a brief description of the features that are present in
    > the Bash shell (version 3.1, 30 December 2005)..
    >
    > [snip]
    > This manual is meant as a brief introduction to features found in
    > Bash. The Bash manual page should be used as the definitive reference
    > on shell behavior.
    >
    > Note the last statement above: "The Bash manual page should be used as the
    > definitive reference on shell behaviour".
    >

    There is an inconsistency there. I've seen man pages that say the
    reverse, that the info page is the definitive source.

    And sadly, not every program has a man page.

    I've already posted about how easy man is to use that I never think of
    it as a standalone utility.

    A clear advantage over using a browser is that man will find the man
    pages if they are were they should be. A browser, you either have
    to remember where the man pages are stored, or browse through the
    directory structure.

    Man is so easy to use, that I've considered making up some man pages
    of my own, for purely local use. Not instructions on using a specific
    program, but a "man page" for some tiny bits of information that I
    want to keep handy but can never remember. Or a "man page" of common
    invocations of utilities and applications I use regularly, sort of
    a cheat sheet.

    I have those as text files, and it is easy enough to use Lynx to
    look them over. Yet, I still have to get to the file, while
    "man cheat" or "man birthdays" would get the information up on
    the screen faster than I can blink.

    That seems to be what unix/linux is about. Simple programs that
    do things well. Which is why I use "cal" a lot more than all
    the fancier things I have on my hard drive, and I use "look" constantly
    to check the spelling of words. These are wonderful things that
    get used. Even to use more recent examples, I could invoke some fancy
    audio editing system to bring audio files to a constant level, or
    I could just use "normalize" to do it, and not have to fuss with
    menus or multiple options.

    Michael

  10. Re: Question of getting system/application information

    On 2008-09-28, Mike wrote:
    > Responding to Loki Harfagr:
    >
    >> On Sun, 28 Sep 2008 09:19:40 +0000, Mike sprout:
    >>
    >>> And all for just a text document with markup.
    >>>
    >>> So, my question has evolved into...
    >>>
    >>> * Why do we need a specialist reader/format for basic information?

    >>
    >> you don't, if you want to use the man page as straight text just
    >> tells it so:
    >> # man man -P cat
    >>
    >> you can even preset this and forget about it:
    >> # export MANPAGER=/bin/cat
    >>
    >> but it's all nitcpicking with a hay fork, the dire problem with manpages
    >> is not "how can we read them" but "can we read them" ;-)

    >
    >
    > Yeah, I KNOW things can be converted/scripted/altered, but thats not the
    > point of my question.
    >
    > Why do we need a special reader for specially formatted documentation at
    > all? This is a legacy thing, and I suppose I'm arguing that its not only
    > obsolete, but arguably time consuming and distracting for today's Linux
    > user base.


    Explain why it's time consuming....why it's a distraction...saying so
    doesn't make it so.


    >
    > "We've always done it this way" doesn't cut the mustard when you've jobs
    > waiting and need to fix something before something else happens as a
    > result.


    The man reader prevents you from completing jobs....is that your point here?

    I love to "hear" the explanation for this piece of rubbish.



    ken

  11. Re: Question of setting environment variables

    Hallo, ~kurt,

    Du meintest am 28.09.08:

    > I hate info - can't figure out how to navigate it. I guess I can
    > read the man pages on it....


    Try pinfo
    from slacky.eu

    Viele Gruesse
    Helmut

    "Ubuntu" - an African word, meaning "Slackware is too hard for me".


  12. Re: Question of getting system/application information

    On Sun, 28 Sep 2008 09:04:59 +0000, Mike wrote:

    > Responding to Sylvain Robitaille:
    >> What is a web-browser, if not a "specialist tool for specialist
    >> formatted documentation?"

    >
    > Web browser = common format
    >
    > Man reader = specialist format
    >
    > Web browser = in common use
    >
    > Man reader = one single purpose
    >
    > See what I'm looking at here?


    Not really, Mike. According to the man page on man, it uses less by
    default. You know, less, the general-purpose text viewer.

    --
    Chick Tower

    For e-mail: aols2 DOT sent DOT towerboy AT xoxy DOT net


  13. Re: Question of getting system/application information

    On Sun, 28 Sep 2008 14:33:32 +0000, Mike wrote:

    > Be honest. If the man page format did not already exist, would anybody
    > actually invent it today?


    Good point. We also need to reinvent zippers to notify our cell phones
    via BlueTooth when they are not closed, to avoid that embarrassment.
    Until that time, zippers are arcane, obsolete hardware that should not be
    trusted. Codpieces are the only sane alternative.

    To answer your question, yes, someone would invent man pages if they did
    not already exist. Do you think they, and info pages, and their storage
    formats, were invented simply as programming exercises not meant to
    meet any real-world needs? The format might well be different, but they
    would be easily readable and searchable via command-line utilities, since
    they are intended to explain the use of command-line programs, which are
    still important in the Unix, Linux, and BSD worlds. Graphical programs
    have help systems of their own, with graphical interfaces.

    --
    Chick Tower

    For e-mail: aols2 DOT sent DOT towerboy AT xoxy DOT net


  14. Re: Question of getting system/application information

    On Sun, 28 Sep 2008 14:21:39 +0000, Mike wrote:

    > So I CAN read them in my browser then, a tool that my fingers know
    > instinctively, without having to read up on the reader I needed to read
    > about something else? No... hang on... just tried it. It doesn't WORK that
    > way! Dayam! I need a special reader to read those pages!


    Use Konqueror to read your man and info pages if you insist upon using a
    web browser to do so. See the help.
    --
    Chick Tower

    For e-mail: aols2 DOT sent DOT towerboy AT xoxy DOT net


  15. Re: Question of setting environment variables

    On 2008-09-28, Michael Black wrote:
    > On Sun, 28 Sep 2008, Lew Pitcher wrote:
    >>
    >> Note the last statement above: "The Bash manual page should be used as the
    >> definitive reference on shell behaviour".
    >>

    > There is an inconsistency there. I've seen man pages that say the
    > reverse, that the info page is the definitive source.


    There's no inconsistency. man bash happens to be authoritative for
    bash. man sort (which has the message you describe) is not
    authoritative for sort. It all depends on what the authors of the
    program have chosen to do.

    --keith

    --
    kkeller-usenet@wombat.san-francisco.ca.us
    (try just my userid to email me)
    AOLSFAQ=http://www.therockgarden.ca/aolsfaq.txt
    see X- headers for PGP signature information


  16. Re: Question of getting system/application information

    Responding to Chick Tower:

    > On Sun, 28 Sep 2008 14:21:39 +0000, Mike wrote:
    >
    >> So I CAN read them in my browser then, a tool that my fingers know
    >> instinctively, without having to read up on the reader I needed to read
    >> about something else? No... hang on... just tried it. It doesn't WORK
    >> that way! Dayam! I need a special reader to read those pages!

    >
    > Use Konqueror to read your man and info pages if you insist upon using a
    > web browser to do so. See the help.



    /usr/man/man.1.gz

    "What should Seamonkey do with this file?" etc.

    If Konk has the ability to read man pages, then this is an extension, not
    a "default browser" state. Not quite what was talking about, but
    interesting.

    --
    *===( http://principiadiscordia.com/
    *===( http://www.badphorm.co.uk/
    *===( http://www.zenwalk.org/

  17. Re: Question of getting system/application information

    Responding to Michael Black:

    > On Sun, 28 Sep 2008, Mike wrote:
    >
    >> Responding to Grant:
    >>
    >> [...]
    >>>>
    >>>> So, my question has evolved into...
    >>>>
    >>>> * Why do we need a specialist reader/format for basic information?
    >>>
    >>> We don't -- man pages are text with markup, just like web pages, just
    >>> a different breed of markup, that's all. Your argument is weak...

    >>
    >> So I CAN read them in my browser then, a tool that my fingers know
    >> instinctively, without having to read up on the reader I needed to read
    >> about something else? No... hang on... just tried it. It doesn't WORK
    >> that way! Dayam! I need a special reader to read those pages!
    >>

    > I just looked at a man page with lynx, and it displays fine, the only
    > difference being the lack of highlighting, which perhaps can be fixed
    > with some changes to a config file.


    Or, if the man pages themselves were html/html compatible... ?


    > I think, though, that you are arguing a false point. In the seven years
    > I've been using Linux (which means seven years of using Slackware), I've
    > never seen man as anything but invisible. It never gets in the way, it
    > just displays the man page without any fuss. Indeed, I don't even think
    > about how I'm invoking a command titled "man" and passing to it the
    > specific man page I want to read, I think of it as looking at the man
    > page for the thing I'm wanting to read.
    >
    > The man command is as invisible as cd or ls.
    >


    I understand that. I'm not arguing that. I'm looking specifically a the
    fact man pages are written to be primerily read by a special reader,
    dedicated to just that purpose, and thats not a very "Linux" way to do
    things compared to the extensible range of things other Linux apps can
    typically be called upon to do.

    Sure, a little ingenuity can fix things, convert the man pages, extend
    the capacity of a browser, but the basic setup is still the "old way".

    I'm asking why this old way is still "the standard" and suggesting its
    obsolete, only still there because of a cycle of old hands used to using
    it, and newbies feeling as if they need to get up to speed with it as if
    it is some kind of magic Linux thing, which it isn't, and only figuring
    out later than its function-specific legacy software, not something with
    supa-dupa functions nothing else can do. The fact its so ingrained and
    "traditional" in most/all distros is probably why its still there.

    --
    *===( http://principiadiscordia.com/
    *===( http://www.badphorm.co.uk/
    *===( http://www.zenwalk.org/

  18. Re: Question of getting system/application information

    Responding to Chick Tower:

    > On Sun, 28 Sep 2008 09:04:59 +0000, Mike wrote:
    >
    >> Responding to Sylvain Robitaille:
    >>> What is a web-browser, if not a "specialist tool for specialist
    >>> formatted documentation?"

    >>
    >> Web browser = common format
    >>
    >> Man reader = specialist format
    >>
    >> Web browser = in common use
    >>
    >> Man reader = one single purpose
    >>
    >> See what I'm looking at here?

    >
    > Not really, Mike. According to the man page on man, it uses less by
    > default. You know, less, the general-purpose text viewer.



    Just tried Seamonkey and Lynx to view the man man page.

    Not impressive.

    Next up, trying to read Google's homepage using "man google".


    I'n not saying that the man page reader is "OMG!" bad, just that its a
    dedicated format with a dedicated reader. Sure, with a little fiddling
    one can get past that and force things to work beyond design, but thats
    not the point I'm making. HTML is, I'm sure you would agree, an
    internationa standard, and is also plain text with markup, except its
    readable in any browser, anywhere, with no fiddlings or time spent trying
    to figure out how to "repair" the differences between the formats if one
    is so moved to do so. HTML is alread there and requires no extra learning
    of yet another app. IOW, its already integral with a user's existing
    application awareness.

    --
    *===( http://principiadiscordia.com/
    *===( http://www.badphorm.co.uk/
    *===( http://www.zenwalk.org/

  19. Re: Question of getting system/application information

    Responding to Jim Diamond:

    > On 2008-09-28 at 11:33 ADT, Mike wrote:
    >> Responding to Loki Harfagr:
    >>
    >>> On Sun, 28 Sep 2008 09:19:40 +0000, Mike sprout:
    >>>
    >>>> And all for just a text document with markup.
    >>>>
    >>>> So, my question has evolved into...
    >>>>
    >>>> * Why do we need a specialist reader/format for basic information?
    >>>
    >>> you don't, if you want to use the man page as straight text just
    >>> tells it so:
    >>> # man man -P cat
    >>>
    >>> you can even preset this and forget about it:
    >>> # export MANPAGER=/bin/cat
    >>>
    >>> but it's all nitcpicking with a hay fork, the dire problem with
    >>> manpages is not "how can we read them" but "can we read them" ;-)

    >>
    >>
    >> Yeah, I KNOW things can be converted/scripted/altered, but thats not
    >> the point of my question.
    >>
    >> Why do we need a special reader for specially formatted documentation
    >> at all?

    >
    > Maybe because it does a better job than using a web (oops, HTML)
    > browser?
    >
    > Can your HTML browser do regular expression searches?
    >
    > Can you set "bookmarks" at specific lines with your HTML browser so that
    > you can easily flip back and forth in the man page you are reading?
    >
    > Can you imagine that not everyone wants to use some piece of bloatware
    > every time they want to do something simple?


    Lynx is hardly bloatware. Lets get rid of the idea that Firefox is the
    only browser on the planet shall we?

    As for the functions you describe here, surely developing a browser to
    include these functions makes more sense than investing in a single-
    purpose reader application? (More on this further down.)


    >> This is a legacy thing, and I suppose I'm arguing that its not only
    >> obsolete, but arguably time consuming and distracting for today's Linux
    >> user base.

    > Your argument so far is very weak, please share some good points with
    > me, I'm always keen to know about better ways to do things.


    Sarcasm isn't helping here, and indicates a weak stance. Lets tip-toe
    away from the potential for a flaming as thats not what I'm seeking here.


    >> "We've always done it this way" doesn't cut the mustard when you've
    >> jobs waiting and need to fix something before something else happens as
    >> a result.

    > Does this have something to do with reading man pages?


    Sarcasm again. Lets leave that.


    >> Or do we assume all Linux users go through a Linux Training Camp before
    >> being allowed near a live terminal? "If you have a problem you WILL
    >> read your man pages. IF you don't know all the tricks to using your man
    >> page reader you WILL have another problem. IF you have another problem
    >> you WILL NOT solve your first problem UNTIL you have learned to fly
    >> your man page reader upside down while making a cup of tea and
    >> compiling the latest X.org server in French! DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR
    >> MAGGOTS?" "SIR! YES SIR!"

    > Apparently you find your MANPAGER program (less, in my case) much more
    > difficult to use than most people. But really, it isn't that hard to
    > use it in a minimalist way. And if/when you come to the realization
    > that you want something that is more than minimalist, you will find that
    > there are other features to facilitate your man page reading.


    See above comments on investing in developing browser capacity rather
    than a single-purpose application.

    Yeah, one can learn the intricacies of the man reader, but thats what I'm
    talking about. Its a form of "app-creep". Every little thing needing it's
    own app, with it's own set of function keys, mindset. logics, flags, etc.
    etc. etc.

    While the idea of a single killer-app might not appear to some/many, IMO
    the man reader thing is heading in the other direction, and in some ways
    echoes the M$ way of imposing more complications than are necessary on
    the end user, when there are simpler and more direct ways of delivering
    that content.


    >> Be honest. If the man page format did not already exist, would anybody
    >> actually invent it today?

    > That's a good question, which probably none of us can answer
    > definitively. But people who aren't happy with the limitations of HTML
    > browsers might invent something else.


    Ok. Let me take a shot at it then. No. Nobody would write the man page
    reader as somebody else would have said "Hey! Lets use HTML if we need
    markup!" and somebody else would have said "Hey! Lets extend XYZ browser
    to give us bookmarking functions and other cool stuff!" and so on...

    I propose that the ONLY real reason anybody uses the man page reader
    stuff is because its already there, and "we've always done it this way",
    plus, the subtle but "in there" defensive responses I'm seeing are
    typical of any suggestion of change being made to people who pride
    themselves in their skill with something.



    To illustrate my point some more...

    I used to use SLRN, and spent the time and frustration learning all the
    extra keys required to cope with that pretty little box at the top that
    does nothing the design of Pine cannot do. I learned how to knock up and
    maintain "on the fly" multiple complex score files, invent and maintain
    complext score ratings for post details, and interpret them
    instinctively. I became almost one with the machine.

    Then my arthritis flared up, and the spelling mistakes got wors, and the
    "Oops!" increased as my fingers hit some obscure key combo instead of
    what I was trying to write...

    So, with heavy heart, I tried (amongst others) Pan. What a miserable
    Windows-esque offering compared to SLRN to be sure! (Proud of my skill
    with SLRN y'see!)

    A few months back I set up SLRN again, and, having now got used to Pan,
    and its quirks and foibles, found SLRN a nightmre of complexity compared
    to the simple direct funcionality of Pan.

    If someone had suggested I switch to Pan back in my "I'm using SLRN Mom!
    Look at meeeee!" days, I'd have been just as dismissive as I'm reading
    here on this thread ATM. As it is, change occured, I adapted, and now can
    enjoy usenet again with mimimal arthritic pain, AND I can concentrate
    much better on the posts themselves instead of switching my brain between
    usenetting and fiddling with multiple scores/configs/etc.

    Now I'm not saying SLRN is in any way defective or "not fit for purpose".
    Far from it, its an amazing app and I wish I had the dexterity to use it
    like I used to, but times change, and I found myself in a position where
    I needed to rethink how I did things.

    I'm suggesting that the time to rethink things regarding the man page
    reader thing is not only here, but has been for some time.

    --
    *===( http://principiadiscordia.com/
    *===( http://www.badphorm.co.uk/
    *===( http://www.zenwalk.org/

  20. Re: Question of getting system/application information

    Responding to Mark Madsen:

    > On Sun, 28 Sep 2008 14:33:32 +0000, Mike wrote:
    >
    >> Why do we need a special reader for specially formatted documentation
    >> at all? This is a legacy thing, and I suppose I'm arguing that its not
    >> only obsolete, but arguably time consuming and distracting for today's
    >> Linux user base.

    >
    > Documentation is a total waste of time anyway. To benefit from it one
    > needs to learn to read, and that takes an unbelievable amount of time
    > that could more enjoyably be spent banging rocks together.
    >
    > And the people who write the documentation need to learn to write first,
    > even if they already know how to read. How long does that take?
    >
    > Not only that, but the human brain consumes 20W. If we could all turn
    > them off, the world could save about 1.4x10^11W. So don't let anyone
    > ever try to tell you that Linux is more energy efficient than Windows.



    Best response so far. Nice one.



    P.S. Might I suggest somebody does something with that last paragraph,
    for the record? Worthy quote material if ever I saw it.

    --
    *===( http://principiadiscordia.com/
    *===( http://www.badphorm.co.uk/
    *===( http://www.zenwalk.org/

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