info: More information, sometimes

Most folks don’t seem to know about info, or if they do, they don’t use it very often.

I’ll admit it’s not the first thing I go to when I have questions. But I do think that the beauty of info is that it gives a lot more guidance than man, the customary source.

For example, here’s the man page for cut, quickly followed by the info pages for cut.

2013-12-03-lv-r1fz6-info

There’s quite a difference. You really want to bend your brain? Try info info.

What’s more, info pages are linked at times, meaning you can occasionally jump between the info pages for different commands, or chase pages with further information.

It’s like an onboard documentation system. Cool. 😀

The sad part (there had to be a sad part, didn’t there?) is that not everything has an info page. In fact, I might be going out on a limb, but I’m guessing outside of GNU tools, you probably won’t see much documented with info.

More’s the pity. It would be nice if everything had such great documentation. But in a world where sometimes even command-line flags aren’t explained, info is something to aspire to.

In Arch, info is part of texinfo; in Debian I believe it has been split out into info. 😉

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