Info Inferno (prayer)

DISCLAIMER: If I cannot look further than RMS, it is because I'm a dwarf squashed beneath this giant's feet.

That much said, I know I am in for a rough day whenever I run into the following type of remark, after unsuspectingly having typed 'man command':

The GNU folks, in general, abhor man pages, and create info documents instead. The maintainer of tar falls into this category.

The GNU project regards man pages as obsolete and should not let them take time away from other things.

The gnu 'info' system (based on 'texinfo') for documenting commands and applications is the worst thing ever to happen to documentation. Though GNU folks believe that info nodes represent a nice way of arranging related topics, it is in fact a way of splattering a topic all over the place. Their basic misunderstanding is one of granularity, as every tiny bit of information is given its own node. I would not be so upset if one node represented a topic as broad as say, the topic typically covered by a manual page.

On a more fundamental level however (disregarding granularity), what it is about hyperlinks that makes people cram turns, splittings, and dead ends, into a labyrinth of insanity? Do they think it makes better reading? Do they not know that people construct the associative links they need within a text by attaching them to a solid linear and segmented structure? Do they not know Man left Trees long ago, and Man gets lost quite easily in Trees nowadays, certainly if the tree branches at every single Atom in the Fabric?

Info pages violate the sacred GREP OR SEARCH AND YE SHALL FIND principle. Every time I descend into info inferno, I am given one tiny bit after another, and never the bit I seek. Oh Lord, answer my prayer, and gently show these people the light.

For your salvation, if you must have good looking classic manual pages with alternative cross-linked HTML output, do away with all the conversion tools, and start writing them manual pages using the Portable Unix Documentation. PUD currently offers a manual page authoring language and a FAQ authoring language, both built on top of zoem, a macro/programming language.