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Stupid man pages - Page 5

post #41 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Hundred Gunner View Post

What's with your poor reading skills? I get it. That's what's done in practice. However, the entry for the -a option is WRONG. Read it one more time, two more times, three more times, add a little bit of common sense, read the other options, and that entry is still wrong.

How is it wrong?
Code:
-a      The program displays or deletes all of the current ARP entries.

Adding -a will either display or delete all of the current ARP entries. Every time you use the -a flag, it will make your command do at least one of the those two things. It's not technically wrong in any manner. An argument might be made that it's incomplete in the description (this is where the assumed context comes in), but it's not wrong tongue.gif.
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post #42 of 64
Someone talking about reading skills complaining when he fails to use his own reading skills to read the man page but instead reads just one line.

As we've all said, yes it's not the clearest, but it in no way is wrong. Using -a in almost any program means ALL, nothing else. Knowing that then it assumes you'd understand that coupled with a -d or --delete, then it would delete all. As it would be quite hard to delete all entries without an -a or --all flag. Unless you wanted to sit there and go one by one.
Edited by Shrak - 1/13/14 at 7:55pm
post #43 of 64
Quote:
On its own, the line *snip* is WRONG.
You're arguing that a piece of writing has sentences that aren't accurate once the surrounding context has been removed?

A bit... trivial statement to make, no?
post #44 of 64
-a The program displays or deletes all of the current ARP entries.
______________

It's awkward and also incorrect factually since -a by itself does the first but does not do the latter... and preferably should use "lists" instead of "displays."

In conjunction with -d, the correct term for -a would be "selects" (all ARP entries for deletion).

To generalize, sketchy definitions and help files belong to the (old) times of slow and expensive (for performance) hardware.
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post #45 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy9000 View Post

Adding -a will either display or delete all of the current ARP entries.

You're changing the statement. YOU just said "adding." The man page says that using -a will "display or delete all of the current ARP entries." Incomplete is wrong. If you did 10 * 10 = 10, you might be able to say, "I knew what you meant," but incomplete is still wrong.

Actually, a better example might be:

//Prints 10 times
for (int i = 1; i < 10; i++) {
printf("lol\n");
}

Incomplete is wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrak View Post

Someone talking about reading skills complaining when he fails to use his own reading skills to read the man page but instead reads just one line.

I already admitted that I didn't read everything. Pointing that out isn't going to change the text on the man page.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrak View Post

As we've all said, yes it's not the clearest, but it in no way is wrong. Using -a in almost any program means ALL, nothing else. Knowing that then it assumes you'd understand that coupled with a -d or --delete, then it would delete all. As it would be quite hard to delete all entries without an -a or --all flag. Unless you wanted to sit there and go one by one.

lol yes, you've all said it over and over again. But your words don't match the text. Why is that? wink.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by bomfunk View Post

A bit... trivial statement to make, no?

All in good fun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ar3f View Post

-a The program displays or deletes all of the current ARP entries.
______________

It's awkward and also incorrect factually since -a by itself does the first but does not do the latter... and preferably should use "lists" instead of "displays."

In conjunction with -d, the correct term for -a would be "selects" (all ARP entries for deletion).

To generalize, sketchy definitions and help files belong to the (old) times of slow and expensive (for performance) hardware.

Omg, thank you. Somebody whose eyes don't automatically insert words lol

Again, to prove that the statement is incorrect: run arp -a one million times. If it deletes all entries any one of those times, then I'm wrong.
post #46 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Hundred Gunner View Post

You're changing the statement. YOU just said "adding." The man page says that using -a will "display or delete all of the current ARP entries." Incomplete is wrong. If you did 10 * 10 = 10, you might be able to say, "I knew what you meant," but incomplete is still wrong.
man (Click to show)
Code:
ARP(8)                    BSD System Manager's Manual                   ARP(8)

NAME
     arp -- address resolution display and control

SYNOPSIS
     arp [-n] [-i interface] hostname
     arp [-n] [-i interface] [-l] -a
     arp -d hostname [pub] [ifscope interface]
     arp -d [-i interface] -a
     arp -s hostname ether_addr [temp] [reject] [blackhole] [pub [only]] [ifscope interface]
     arp -S hostname ether_addr [temp] [reject] [blackhole] [pub [only]] [ifscope interface]
     arp -f filename

DESCRIPTION
     The arp utility displays and modifies the Internet-to-Ethernet address translation tables used by the
     address resolution protocol (arp(4)).  With no flags, the program displays the current ARP entry for
     hostname.  The host may be specified by name or by number, using Internet dot notation.

     Available options:

     -a      The program displays or deletes all of the current ARP entries.

     -d      A super-user may delete an entry for the host called hostname with the -d flag.  If the pub
             keyword is specified, only the ``published'' ARP entry for this host will be deleted.  If the
             ifscope keyword is specified, the entry specific to the interface will be deleted.

             Alternatively, the -d flag may be combined with the -a flag to delete all entries.

     -i interface
             Limit the operation scope to the ARP entries on interface.  Applicable only to the following
             operations: display one, display all, delete all.

     -l      Show link-layer reachability information.

     -n      Show network addresses as numbers (normally arp attempts to display addresses symbolically).

     -s hostname ether_addr
             Create an ARP entry for the host called hostname with the Ethernet address ether_addr.  The
             Ethernet address is given as six hex bytes separated by colons.  The entry will be permanent
             unless the word temp is given in the command.  If the word pub is given, the entry will be
             ``published''; i.e., this system will act as an ARP server, responding to requests for hostname
             even though the host address is not its own.  In this case the ether_addr can be given as auto
             in which case the interfaces on this host will be examined, and if one of them is found to
             occupy the same subnet, its Ethernet address will be used.  If the only keyword is also speci-fied, specified,
             fied, this will create a ``published (proxy only)'' entry.  This type of entry is created auto-matically automatically
             matically if arp detects that a routing table entry for hostname already exists.

             If the reject keyword is specified the entry will be marked so that traffic to the host will be
             discarded and the sender will be notified the host is unreachable.  The blackhole keyword is
             similar in that traffic is discarded but the sender is not notified.  These can be used to
             block external traffic to a host without using a firewall.

             If the ifscope keyword is specified, the entry will set with an additional property that
             strictly associate the entry to the interface. This allows for the presence of mutiple entries
             with the same destination on different interfaces.

     -S hostname ether_addr
             Is just like -s except any existing ARP entry for this host will be deleted first.

     -f filename
             Cause the file filename to be read and multiple entries to be set in the ARP tables.  Entries
             in the file should be of the form

                   hostname ether_addr [temp] [pub [only]] [ifscope interface]

             with argument meanings as given above.  Leading whitespace and empty lines are ignored.  A `#'
             character will mark the rest of the line as a comment.

     -x      Show extended link-layer reachability information in addition to that shown by the -l flag.

SEE ALSO
     inet(3), arp(4), ifconfig(8), ndp(8)

HISTORY
     The arp utility appeared in 4.3BSD.

BSD                             March 18, 2008                             BSD

Available options... that's how options work. I'm not adding anything to the text, but you are taking away.
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post #47 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy9000 View Post

Code:
     -a      The program displays or deletes all of the current ARP entries.

Available options... that's how options work. I'm not adding anything to the text, but you are taking away.

Mmm-hmm, exactly. Displays or deletes all of the current ARP entries. I didn't take anything away from the description of the -a switch; I just read what it says. Where exactly does it say words to the effect of "in conjunction with -d?" I'm not seeing it.
post #48 of 64
I still don't see how it's wrong, though. The statement "X or Y" is true if either X of Y is true, and it's true if all X are true even if no Y are true. You're in effect saying that "X or Y" is wrong because Y can not be inferred from the description of the switch -a alone; but this is irrelevant since X is still true and as such the whole statement is true. "Ball A is round OR the moon is made of cheese" is true as long as A indeed is round, regardless of the scientific community's opinion on the composition of moon. I suppose you could argue that X cannot be assumed to be true from that line alone, but X certainly is true.

Now I do agree that when reading a manpage turns into an exercise in propositional calculus, the writing could probably be improved somewhat, but I don't see how it's *wrong* per se...
post #49 of 64
This thread is what happens when an unstoppable force hits an immovable object....
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Hundred Gunner View Post

This one's for you, by the way: http://www.overclock.net/t/1452868/minor-rant-question-about-the-linux-community-in-general

Since you referenced that:
http://www.overclock.net/t/1452868/minor-rant-question-about-the-linux-community-in-general/40#post_21471826

The point enorbet2 raises is that sometimes when you're at the beginning stages of understanding something, you an have very strong views about how things should read or work. Sometimes those views will be right, but sometimes they'll be wrong; and you need to be prepared to listen to others and accept their advice at times otherwise you hamper your own ability to learn.
post #50 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bomfunk View Post

I still don't see how it's wrong, though. The statement "X or Y" is true if either X of Y is true, and it's true if all X are true even if no Y are true. You're in effect saying that "X or Y" is wrong because Y can not be inferred from the description of the switch -a alone; but this is irrelevant since X is still true and as such the whole statement is true. "Ball A is round OR the moon is made of cheese" is true as long as A indeed is round, regardless of the scientific community's opinion on the composition of moon. I suppose you could argue that X cannot be assumed to be true from that line alone, but X certainly is true.

Now I do agree that when reading a manpage turns into an exercise in propositional calculus, the writing could probably be improved somewhat, but I don't see how it's *wrong* per se...

If that's true, then at best, the description of the -a switch is misleading. But if we use this example, then would you really, honestly still say the following description of -a is correct?
Code:
-a       The program displays or deletes all of the current ARP entries or makes you breakfast

The issue is that the -a switch does not do any deleting, ever. It SELECTS, as another member previously stated, which can be used to choose all of the entries for -d to perform the deletion. The -a switch does not delete as its description says it does.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan9 View Post

The point enorbet2 raises is that sometimes when you're at the beginning stages of understanding something, you an have very strong views about how things should read or work. Sometimes those views will be right, but sometimes they'll be wrong; and you need to be prepared to listen to others and accept their advice at times otherwise you hamper your own ability to learn.

I already said several times that "ok, now I understand that things can be what they're not said to be" in the man pages. Lesson learned. If you're still trying to talk down to me and put me in that beginner's square over that fact, I'll accept that. However, I'm not a beginner to the English language, and when something doesn't do what's written, there is a problem. I mean look, bomfunk above just admitted that there is room for improvement, and you're continuing to defend this practice of "As long as I'm the one who understands it, it's ok for it to not be written correctly." So you tell me who's the immovable object.
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