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Stupid man pages

post #1 of 64
Thread Starter 
I've always thought that man pages are difficult to navigate through and are generally difficult to look through to find information on what you're looking for. If any of you agree, post some examples of ridiculous things you've found in any man pages. I'll start:

In the arp man page, I was looking for the option to list/display the arp table. Here's what I found:
Code:
-a      The program displays or deletes all of the current ARP entries.

"displays or deletes?" That's like the manual to a nuclear missile control button saying, "This button either gives information on the nuke or launches it."

Ridiculous.
post #2 of 64
What OS? I get this on Linux:
Code:
-a     Use alternate BSD style output format (with no fixed columns).

From the extract of your man page though, I'd guess that "-a" is meant to be used in conjunction with either a list or delete flag. ie "-a" just means "do everything" and you additionally have to specify whether to --display or --delete.
post #3 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan9 View Post

What OS? I get this on Linux:
Code:
-a     Use alternate BSD style output format (with no fixed columns).

From the extract of your man page though, I'd guess that "-a" is meant to be used in conjunction with either a list or delete flag. ie "-a" just means "do everything" and you additionally have to specify whether to --display or --delete.

I get the same as you on Debian...
post #4 of 64
I third Plan9 as I get the same output for -a in the man page for arp. Though I find man pages often useless for most people as they don't exactly explain things for non-programmer or just non-linux people. Hell, I often find myself scratching my head at what is being explained and how to use some of the oprands.
     
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post #5 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan9 View Post

What OS?
Maybe OS X? Out of curiosity I just booted into it on my Mac (which I rarely do anymore), and the man page for arp shows the same line as the OP's.
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
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RAMHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
2x4GB Super Talent DDR3-1600 CL9 Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS LiteON iHBS212 EK Supreme HF Copper/Acetal 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
4x Noiseblocker NB-BlackSilentPro PLPS 120mm PW... Bitspower Water Tank Z-Multi 150 Aquacomputer Flow Rate Sensor "High Flow USB" G1/4 Bitspower black compression fittings 
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post #6 of 64
Would you use it in combination with the delete flag to remove all entries?
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post #7 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by beers View Post

Would you use it in combination with the delete flag to remove all entries?
Yup.

Personally I don't see what the confusion is because that particular man page has examples of when to use the -a flag:
Code:
arp [-n] [-i interface] hostname
arp [-n] [-i interface] -a
arp -d hostname [pub]
arp -d [-i interface] -a
arp -s hostname ether_addr [temp] [blackhole | reject] [pub [only]]
arp -S hostname ether_addr [temp] [blackhole | reject] [pub [only]]
arp -f filename

FreeBSD: http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/man.cgi?query=arp&sektion=8
OS X: https://developer.apple.com/library/mac/documentation/darwin/reference/manpages/man8/arp.8.html
post #8 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by valvehead View Post

Maybe OS X? Out of curiosity I just booted into it on my Mac (which I rarely do anymore), and the man page for arp shows the same line as the OP's.

Yep. Maybe it's just OSX stupidity, then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by beers View Post

Would you use it in combination with the delete flag to remove all entries?

Ugh, at least they could state that, showing [-d] as an option -_-
post #9 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Hundred Gunner View Post

Ugh, at least they could state that, showing [-d] as an option -_-

They do:
http://www.overclock.net/t/1458336/stupid-man-pages#post_21568024
post #10 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Well I'm nit-picking because I was only interested in looking for how to list entries, and so I only looked at -a. If they're going to mention "delete" along with "list," then they ought to make a reference to "see option -d," because not everyone reads a man page from top to bottom when they're just looking for one thing... Oh well.
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