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man command

I suggest adding the man and whatis commands to Sailfish OS in order to access manual pages for us Linux command line lovers. Many manuals are already there (/usr/share/man/), but cannot be accessed directly (example man bash).

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From an underlying Mer perspecive any existing man pages in any existing packages are a bug :) (Rationale - Mer aims for minimalism by default and docs should go outside the main package).

They're useful in the SDK too, so mid to long term it would be good to modify more of our packaging to provide independent doc packages which contain this kind of thing - then it would be user's choice about installing them. One issue is that some docs require extensive dependencies to build. Patches welcome (but come talk to us on irc before starting).

I think an app linking to http://linux.die.net/ or similar may be good from an on-device readbility point-of-view too. Much later on it could point to a similar Mer-driven site.

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I think the choice of not including man-pages is a reflection of a too schizophrenic mindset. It is the same mindset that puts busybox on a machine with anything more than 2GB of flash storage! What I am looking for in the Jolla is a mobile computer, not just another phone, and certainly not an embedded interface. I don't mind if Mer has a branch going into the very low performance devices - for example like the n900 that removed man-pages after they were installed, but please keep them in the packages so that they are available for those of us that want them! I want something that makes use of all the hardware goodies in a modern smartphone - a class of devices that is well on its way to rival my old desktop computer!

tl;dr: If Sailfish OS is designed for devices that do not have enough resources to hold man-pages, then Sailfish is the wrong OS for the Jolla phone! ...and no, I don't mean that I want Jolla to switch to another OS!

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Agree. The "embedded" moniker just because it being run on a small, pocketable device makes no sense, when that device is a multi-core, GHz CPU with 80GB of storage. On my desktop, /usr/share/man is 40MiB. I don't think I care about 40MiB anymore.

( 2014-10-26 03:22:03 +0300 )edit

I am also in favour of not adding man pages. They really are handy but I suppose Sailfish is to be compact OS for embedded devices - so best keep the base distribution to the minimum. When considering running on lower-end devices the OS size can be an issue too.

If I needed man pages, I would use a www-based resource or login to another linux box which has them installed.

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There is also possibility of an app to browse them online, in addition, it seems that man page app for Android is already written.

( 2014-01-10 19:43:43 +0300 )edit
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I don't want online only man pages. They are slow to load and it potentially costs money if the data plan with my provider is exceeded. Actually on the Jolla I have 7,9M in /usr/share/man whereas on my Ubuntu system it's 29M. Not too much. Why not make an optional package for those interested?

( 2014-01-10 23:54:45 +0300 )edit

You can find it All on my merproject repository.

man-db-2.7.1-10.20.7.jolla.armv7hl.rpm

http://repo.merproject.org/obs//home:/nielnielsen/sailfish_latest_armv7hl/armv7hl/man-db-2.7.1-10.20.7.jolla.armv7hl.rpm

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Thanks! Is this the same as https://openrepos.net/content/nieldk/man-db? Are you going to update the openrepos version?

( 2015-02-16 09:09:34 +0300 )edit
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You can use either. Its not the same, as you can see by version number. Yes. I want to update openrepos. But, I like mer build pages. Simply because the source is there for everyone. Perhaps openrepos can be updated to sync with merproject.

( 2015-02-16 09:20:42 +0300 )edit

With openrepos, I get notifyed when an application has been updated. Is this also possible with repo.merproject?

( 2015-02-16 10:02:51 +0300 )edit
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You wont get a notification. You need to check manually with. Pkcon or zypper. But. Excellent idea for a next project :)

( 2015-02-16 10:06:39 +0300 )edit

Installation of version 2.7.1 fails:

  rpm -i man-db-2.7.1-10.20.1.jolla.armv7hl.rpm
error: Failed dependencies:
libpipeline.so.1 is needed by man-db-2.7.1-10.20.1.jolla.armv7hl
libpipeline1 >= 1.4.0 is needed by man-db-2.7.1-10.20.1.jolla.armv7hl

pkcon search name libpipeline
Available       libpipeline-1.2.6-1.armv7hl                     A C library for manipulating pipelines of subproce

( 2015-02-16 11:30:19 +0300 )edit

Looks like it's not available in Mer, Nemo nor Sailfish. However it should be easy enough to build that on OBS and add it to the community repository. Chum is there exactly for those packages that don't fit into store nor the base distribution, but are useful for the community.

Note: Sailfish being an embedded distro, I expect that many if not most man pages are stripped out or disabled at build time, this is somehting the man package will obviously not solve.

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Another possibility could be that Jolla would publish all the man pages and the documentation of the installed versions of software at some web site under the jolla.com or sailfishos.org. One hierarchy per Sailfish release. When I search the man pages using Google, I don't necessarily get the man page for the right version.

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This post is a wiki. Anyone with karma >75 is welcome to improve it.

Adding about 50MiB of man pages that is to say about 0.3% upto 0.4% of the Jolla storage ?! Come on, what's the big deal ?

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That's 50MB that can't be spent on pictures, documents, and so on. Sailfish OS isn't supposed to be a distro for nerds, it's supposed to be an operating system for everyone. It's GNU/Linux, of course, but that fact is not supposed to and shouldn't be obvious to the end user.

( 2016-05-20 14:22:44 +0300 )edit

That's 0.3 to 0.4% extra pictures you loose. Do you really think it is wise to make life hard for the nerds that develop new apps for other users for the sake of 0.4% more pictures in your phone? They do it for free and for fun, and this takes things in the direction of bothersome and not-fun. Really, it's less than half a percent extra!

( 2016-05-22 21:21:59 +0300 )edit

If nerds had their way with everything, nobody would be using any technology because the only interface would be a green on black terminal.

( 2016-05-29 19:56:29 +0300 )edit

Agreed, giving everything to the nerds (or any other group) would be overdoing it, but we are talking about 0.4%, not everything!

( 2016-05-31 22:28:29 +0300 )edit

Get real, about 100% of sailfish users are nerds. Who but a nerd would prefer sailfish is to android and IOS? The average user doesn't pay 50 bucks, void they'd warranty, and execute console commands to use an OS that they probably only know screenshots or videos of and can't use all android apps on without complicated workarounds if they know about it at all. I do not by any means want to say that sailfish is is bad, quite the opposite but I don't think that it is attractive to any other group.

( 2018-01-13 23:26:32 +0300 )edit

The current mer policy is to not have man-pages in the packages but let users add them afterwards if they want them. Unfortunately it is a pain to figure out where the man-pages for everything are, so you end up installing some but not all. Then you try some obscure command, and just when you need the man-page the most (i.e. when you are trying to figure out a new obscure command) the man-page isn't there! In bad cases, when you finally find the man-page on the Internet, and get it built (or even through NielDK's excellent work), you discover it was the wrong version and throw-the-phone-at-a-wall-frustration ensues.

A better choice would be to include the man-pages in all packages, as usual in Linux, and then include a man-page deleter as an optionally installable package. That way, you can install the deleter for those systems where you don't want the man pages, but you can be sure to have the complete set of man-pages if you want them.

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Wouldn't a documentation subpackage be a better and cleaner idea ? Just mark all the documentation files for a package - including the man page - as belonging to a -doc package (foobar-doc) and simply don't install doc packages by default.

Then if you want man pages and/or documentation you simply install the doc sub package. It should also be relatively easy to make a script that installs doc sub packages for all the packages you have installed.

( 2015-06-23 20:48:27 +0300 )edit
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When you decouple the documentation from the main package, the maintainer will focus on getting the functionality out but leave out building the doc package for later - then forget about it. Simply adding the doc package separately has been possible all the time, but look at the repositories now: Why are there almost no doc packages as it is? As long as we leave things as they are, the documentation of Mer will remain spotty. We will never get good doc packages for everything.

( 2015-06-24 21:39:02 +0300 )edit