Announcing the Ubuntu Manpage Repository

Dotan Cohen dotancohen at
Wed Sep 10 09:51:17 BST 2008

2008/9/10 Dustin Kirkland <kirkland at>:
> On Tue, Sep 9, 2008 at 12:55 PM, Dotan Cohen <dotancohen at> wrote:
>> That is because those websites is not designed to be friendly to web
>> crawlers. Web crawlers use up bandwidth that is meant for humans. You
>> can see this fact in their link structure, and they specifically
>> request that web crawlers do not access them:
>> <META name="robots" content="nofollow">
>> robots.txt:
> Good catch, thanks.  I should have thought to look for that.
>> I actually see very few manpages available. If they are automatically
>> generated from the current packages, then why are they not available
>> on the site? For instance, in the /en folder of both hardy and
>> intrepid there are only one manpage each. This is not a fundamental
>> issue as were the previous issues that I mention, so if it is a
>> temporary error than no big deal.
> Try, instead:
>  * (~17,911 pages)
>  * (~414 pages)
>  * (~17,610 pages)
>  * (~207 pages)
>  * (~1341 pages)
>  * (~983 pages)
>  * (~467 pages)
>  * (~3925 pages)
>  * (~8 pages)
> This is a symptom of where manpages are installed by various packages.
>  Look on your local Ubuntu system in /usr/share/man/en if it exists at
> all (it doesn't on my very heavily loaded Ubuntu desktop).  However,
> there are a couple of packages that install manpages there.

Interesting. I usually read my manpages online if they are not
installed so I have never had to delve into there, but it is a mess. I
do not remember where Fedora stores it's manpages but I will comment
that I do not remember ever running into a package installed in Fedora
that did not have a manpage installed. That said, Fedora was a
four-disc install last time I did it and may have since grown. They
have a lot more room for "stuff" as George Carlton would have said.

> I'll open a bug and fix this in the repository by basically symlinking
> these directories into the "en" locale.

Very good.

>> The end-user documentation in the form of How-Tos and guides in Ubuntu
>> is getting better and better all the time. However, it is the
>> traditional documentation sources that are marginalized, and if you
>> can address that then I support you 100%. But if you are simple
>> duplicating efforts then obviously I discourage that.
> The goal of the Ubuntu Manpage Repository project is to make Ubuntu
> manpage documentation more accessible to Ubuntu users.  I'll quote the
> anecdote I used on my blog entry announcing the project:
>    Earlier this year, I found myself on IRC answering basic
>    questions from an Ubuntu user about some random utility,
>    and I asked him if he had read the manpage yet.  He
>    responded that he had read whatever he could find on the
>    web, but he didn't really dabble on the command line in general.
>    It occurred to me that there may well be a contingent of Ubuntu
>    users who are entirely disconnected from the wealth of resources
>    so many developers have poured into manpage-based documentation.

Sounds noble :)

>> You already received some bash... ahh critics.
> Thanks....I have thick skin ;-)

I never bashed you, and I think that you know that. Early in the
thread I stated that you may be making an unwise decision
reduplicating efforts, but I did not attack. Instead, I asked that you
explain your reasoning and point out where the added value is. You
have shown what need your project fulfills that other projects do not
fulfill. I am now satisfied that your efforts are not simply
reduplicating other's efforts, and I have stated my support of your
project. Actually, as the project develops, I will likely switch to
using your manpages rather than other, possibly outdated manpages that
I find online.

In other words, thanks!

Dotan Cohen


More information about the ubuntu-devel mailing list