Tweaks to the wait(2) manpage

Warren Block wblock at
Sat Sep 14 13:11:55 UTC 2013

On Sat, 14 Sep 2013, Konstantin Belousov wrote:

> On Thu, Sep 12, 2013 at 04:43:46PM -0400, John Baldwin wrote:
>> I have some tweaks to the wait(2) manpage, in particular to the sections on
>> wait6() and idtypes.  I did also change two other places to use uppercase for
>> ID since that seems to be what we do in other pages.  The alternate rendered
>> text is below followed by the diff.  One structural change I chose to make was
>> using a tagged list for the non-standard idtypes.  Our manpages in general
>> prefer tagged lists to bullet lists for enumerations.  I left the list of
>> standard types as-is as it includes a fourth bullet point that would not have
>> an associated tag (though one could perhaps move that into the paragraph
>> introducing the list of standard types if a tagged list was desired).  I kept
>> reading this page as I was writing this e-mail and changed more bits to
>> attempt to be more consisent with existing paragraphs, etc.:
>>      The broadest interface of all functions in this family is wait6() which
>>      is otherwise very much like wait4() but with a few very important dis-
>>      tinctions.  To wait for exited processes the option flag WEXITED must be
> I did not liked the introductory sentence above, but was not able to
> formulate the idea better.  Specifically, I do not like the narrative tone,
> and think that 'broadest' and 'distinction' should be expressed better.

Agreed about "broadest", it's hard to tell what that means.  How about:

   wait6() is the most general function in this family, differing from
   wait4() in these important ways:

   To wait for exited processes, the WEXITED option flag must be
   explicitly specified.  This allows waiting for processes which have
   experienced other status changes without having to also handle the
   exit status from terminated processes.

   Instead of the traditional rusage argument, the wrusage argument
   points to a structure defined as:


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