Python to Perl Conversions

Donn Cave donn at
Thu Aug 19 13:38:08 EDT 1999

Quoth Tom Christiansen <tchrist at>,
| Something the python community might should learn here from the perl
| community is our zealous position on usable documentation.  HTML alone
| sucks, as does putting things only on the web (two different issues).
| That I can't even get "man python" to come up pisses me off more than
| you can imagine.  I strongly feel that you really should consider making
| something easy for CLI people to use just like any other tool or library.
| That's why we have "pod" as base docs, which can convert into HTML,
| text, info, latex, frame, troff (manpages), etc.  It makes it easy to
| run grep or find programs on.  This is very important.  And each module
| automatically installs that module's manpage (and optionally html doc,
| but this is less popular amongst perl folks).  That gets it added to
| the apropos and whatis and man commands automatically.  This is about
| 0.002% of what the MakeMaker thingie in Perl does, but it's the part
| that matters for docs.  I've surely heard Python folks drooling over it
| for a long time.  Also, the CPAN autoinstaller than runs it all for you.
| All very spiffy.

Searchable CLI documentation is a good thing, and I take that as the main
point of your post here, but the way Perl and Tcl dump man pages into man3
isn't something Python needs to emulate on my account.  Man pages could
be disposed in the same name-space-sensitive way we design libraries,
modules, etc., and if anyone feels like working the Python documentation
into man pages I hope that will be considered.

It's no surprise to me that Python documentation doesn't appear as man
pages, anyway, it doesn't seem like a good match for the information
or the community.  Among the alternatives I know of, I'd go with HTML.

	Donn Cave, University Computing Services, University of Washington
	donn at

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