aesthetic standard for synopsis line of man pages?
- Date: Sun, 12 Nov 2017 15:48:10 -0500 (EST)
- From: "Robert P. J. Day" <rpjday@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: aesthetic standard for synopsis line of man pages?
yet more aesthetic nitpickery ... was just perusing the man pages of
both "git clean" and "git rm", and noticed some striking
from "man git-clean":
git clean [-d] [-f] [-i] [-n] [-q] [-e <pattern>] [-x | -X] [--] <path>...
note how, in that sypnosis, even those options that are represented by
both a short form option (-f) and a corresponding long form (--force)
use only the short form in the synopsis, i'm assuming for brevity,
which makes perfect sense.
"man git-rm" is a different beast entirely, with a hodge podge of
short forms and long forms with no apparent pattern:
git rm [-f | --force] [-n] [-r] [--cached] [--ignore-unmatch] [--quiet] [--] <file>...
... snip ...
Override the up-to-date check.
Donʼt actually remove any file(s). Instead, just show if
they exist in the index and would otherwise be removed by
Allow recursive removal when a leading directory name is
This option can be used to separate command-line options
from the list of files, (useful when filenames might be
mistaken for command-line options).
Use this option to unstage and remove paths only from the
index. Working tree files, whether modified or not, will
be left alone.
Exit with a zero status even if no files matched.
git rm normally outputs one line (in the form of an rm
command) for each file removed. This option suppresses
the strangeness above?
1) the synopsis itself lists the alternatives "[-f | --force]", which
seems unnecessary, as both forms are listed under OPTIONS
2) this is followed by *only* the short form (-n) of --dry-run, so
3) the SYNOPSIS weirdly includes *only* the long form (--quiet) rather
than the short form (-q)
4) is it standard to explain the "--" separator in a man page? i
don't recall seeing that in any other man page, but maybe i wasn't
paying attention. it seems unnecessary.
in short, "man git-clean" seems reasonable, while "man git-rm"
appears somewhat disorganized.
Robert P. J. Day Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA