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Man

The venerable Unix documentation display program (it is meant to perform the help operation). Functionally, it takes an argument (e.g. "man ls"), finds special file somewhere on the disk (called in this case ls.1), and displays it on user's terminal or elsewhere.

Simplicity is the main virtue of "man". It retrieves documentation almost instantly and is unobtrusive in use (no popping-out windows, prolonged index generations and such). Plain "man" lacks hyperlinks, but some viewers (like the one embedded in KDE's file manager, Konqueror) support hyperlinks in the ad hoc way for "man" documents.

Most people never notice, but "man" produces exceptionally good linebreaking for fixed width fonts/displays, thanks to the "nroff" program it invokes to format the pages.

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Last modified: Sat, 20 Sep 2008 19:51:00 +0000 Hits: 15,901