A request to segregate man pages for shell built-ins

Arthur Chance freebsd at qeng-ho.org
Wed Oct 25 07:49:04 UTC 2017

On 25/10/2017 07:14, Matthew Seaman wrote:
> On 25/10/2017 03:23, Manish Jain wrote:
>> (Note : some built-ins (e.g. 'test') do have their own man pages)
> That's because there's a stand-alone test(1) as well as a shell built-in.
>> Is it not possible to create separate man pages for the shell built-ins 
>> too ? Or at least ensure that invoking the built-in with --help gets the 
>> necessary information ?
> I'm sure creating separate man pages is possible: it's just a question
> of someone stepping up and doing the work.

"man builtin" suggests there might be a few problems in organising the
new pages. Some builtins work in both shells, others in only one, some
have external equivalents, others don't. Some builtins work differently
in the two shells.

For example, do we have one page for echo or three: echo(bin), echo(sh)
and echo(csh)? /bin/echo has a single flag, the sh builtin has two and
the csh builtin mimics one or the other depending on a csh variable setting.

Yes, it just needs someone to do the work but making the new pages
coherent and clear would take more effort than it first seems.

An amusing coincidence: log2(58) = 5.858 (to 0.0003% accuracy).

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