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Re: Poor State of the Man Pages

Tassilo von Parseval
November 28, 2003 00:13
Re: Poor State of the Man Pages
Message ID:
On Thu, Nov 27, 2003 at 10:35:23PM +0200 Shlomi Fish wrote:

> On Thu, 27 Nov 2003, Dave Rolsky wrote:

> > Buying Perl books supports the authors (like Larry, Randall, and many
> > others on this list) who've contributed to Perl.  Complaining that
> > learning something requires buying a couple books is ridiculous.  There
> > are not many things in this world worth learning that can be easily
> > learned with absolutely no investment of money.
> Actually, as far as computer technologies are concerned, the opposite is
> true. If you can't learn a computer technology from online resources
> alone, then there's something very fishy about it.
> Take a look at Python, PHP, MySQL, PostgreSQL, GNU make, GNU awk, qmail,
> Ruby and the list go on. They all have very adequate documentation online
> for beginners, as well as reference material that is very accessible.

Are you sure that what you say about Python and Ruby is true? My
experience is quite a different one. I was able to pick up Perl around
three years ago with relative ease. I had none of those suggested books.
I started with a flimsy Perl introduction that was part of a SELFHTML,
in total not more than four internet-pages. Fortunately though, I had a
friend who knew a little bit of Perl already. Not much really, but he
knew enough to point me to the perldocs. The only printed stuff I had
at this time was the Perl section of "Linux in a nutshell".

All it takes is some willingness to learn the stuff. With perldoc, some
googling and the help of and/or clpm everything is
there. However, if someone has written a nice tutorial or some other
piece of documentation that might be useful, it can always be included
in a Perl distribution. But when you are asking the porters to write
this stuff, you are probably asking the wrong people.

I'd like to add that I rather prefer to see additional documentation
over altering the existing material. The current perldocs work extremely
well and can't so easily be tweaked to satisfy both the beginners and
the experienced users.

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