Addertjes Onder Het Gras / hiaten

This web page shows some downsides I found in software packages. Each of them, on their own, can cause major troubles to newbies trying to use the software. For more experienced people they spoil the fun using the software and often cause headaches. Some issues may exist by incident, some may be caused by policy of the software author. As soon as an issue is gone to my knowledge, it will be striked out from this website. Known workarounds will be listed too, as long as they are required.
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???sh / manLinux

Does man even provide a 'Table of Contents'?

The command 'man' without parameters errors out with "What manual page do you want?" and 'man man' only provides syntax help. It would be better for less experienced Linux users, if either of these commands provides a browsable table of contents/index, or at least provide a clue/reference to the proper tool for this purpose.

man "regex(7)"ยป'No manual entry for regex(7)'

Many websites and man-pages refer only to the round bracket notation to point at different manual sections, even though the 'man' command refuses to process this notation. Instead it must be requested as 'man --sections 7 regex' or simply 'man 7 regex'. It would be better to be able to use the round bracket notation on the command line directly.
Default section search order:CommandPurpose
1man --sections 1 introexecutable user reference
8man --sections 8 intro
3man --sections 3 introprogrammer's reference (libc)
2man --sections 2 intro
5man --sections 5 intro
4man --sections 4 intro
9man --sections 9 intro
6man --sections 6 intro
7man --sections 7 intromiscellaneous user reference

man and '-?' rarely provide useful summaries

It would be better for less experienced Linux users if the most common and shortest shell snippets and summaries would be listed upmost, rather than in seemingly random order.

sh's context help feels barely intuitive (unless installing 'sudo apt-get install bash-completion')

  • eg. does "tar j" mean gzip or bzip?
  • eg. comes the folder or the search pattern parameter first after grep?


'/bin/sh' is a shell available on (almost) and all Linux distribution. It would be a great help to newbies if it (or any forked shells) would provide automatic syntax completion and syntax help, just like most programming Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) provide (for example using CTRL-space/CTRL+SHIFT-space). This way the user not needs to resort to 'man' or 'help' or 'info' all the time, which don't provide manageable information anyway to most less experienced users.