2018-11-10 Manual Pages

I like people who write their own man pages with the most important information they keep forgetting about existing commands. Keep this info in text files and use a little script like mman to access those text files; keep using man for the original. I found this via tfurrows’s gopher site.

On Mastodon, I got some more suggestions:

@raucao suggested tldr. I installed the Perl variant via cpanm tldr.

alex@melanobombus:~$ tldr emacs

  The extensible, customizable, self-documenting, real-time display editor.

  ✓ Open emacs in console mode (without X window):

    🍣  emacs -nw

  ✓ Open a file in emacs:

    🍣  emacs {{filename}}

  ✓ Exit emacs:

    🍣  C-x C-c

Know about ed I can tell you that knowing how to quit is essential information. But surely there is more to it?

@coffe suggested cheat. I installed it via pip3 install cheat. And I set some options in my ~/bashrc:

export EDITOR=emacsclient
export CHEATCOLORS=true

You need to provide an editor because you can edit your cheat sheets. That’s the spirit!

The colourisation for the Emacs page is wrong. I guess it isn’t handled as Markdown? But at least there’s more information available. Perhaps it’s too much?

alex@melanobombus:~$ cheat emacs
# Running emacs

  GUI mode            $ emacs
  Terminal mode       $ emacs -nw

# Basic usage

  Indent              Select text then press TAB
  Cut                 CTRL-w
  Copy                ALT-w
  Paste ("yank")      CTRL-y
  Begin selection     CTRL-SPACE
  Search/Find         CTRL-s
  Replace             ALT-% (ALT-SHIFT-5)
  Save                CTRL-x CTRL-s
  Save as             CTRL-x CTRL-w
  Load/Open           CTRL-x CTRL-f
  Undo                CTRL-x u
  Highlight all text  CTRL-x h
  Directory listing   CTRL-x d
  Cancel a command    CTRL-g
  Font size bigger    CTRL-x CTRL-+
  Font size smaller   CTRL-x CTRL--

# Buffers

  Split screen vertically                         CTRL-x 2
  Split screen vertically with 5 row height       CTRL-u 5 CTRL-x 2
  Split screen horizontally                       CTRL-x 3
  Split screen horizontally with 24 column width  CTRL-u 24 CTRL-x 3
  Revert to single screen                         CTRL-x 1
  Hide the current screen                         CTRL-x 0
  Move to the next screen                         CTRL-x o
  Kill the current buffer                         CTRL-x k
  Select a buffer                                 CTRL-x b
  Run command in the scratch buffer               CTRL-x CTRL-e

# Navigation ( backward / forward )
  Character-wise                                  CTRL-b , CTRL-f
  Word-wise                                       ALT-b  , ALT-f
  Line-wise                                       CTRL-p , CTRL-n
  Sentence-wise                                   ALT-a  , ALT-e
  Paragraph-wise                                  ALT-{ , ALT-}
  Function-wise                                   CTRL-ALT-a , CTRL-ALT-e
  Line beginning / end                            CTRL-a , CTRL-e

# Other stuff

  Open a shell         ALT-x eshell
  Goto a line number   ALT-x goto-line
  Word wrap            ALT-x toggle-word-wrap
  Spell checking       ALT-x flyspell-mode
  Line numbers         ALT-x linum-mode
  Toggle line wrap     ALT-x visual-line-mode
  Compile some code    ALT-x compile
  List packages        ALT-x package-list-packages

# Line numbers

  To add line numbers and enable moving to a line with CTRL-l:

    (global-set-key "\C-l" 'goto-line)
    (add-hook 'find-file-hook (lambda () (linum-mode 1)))

I am reminded of my own recommendation regarding Emacs. I wrote this in 2006. Reference Sheet by Alex Schroeder (for Emacs).



I’ve done something similar using BASH functions. I first saw these in a comment on hackernews, and have simply taken them wholesale.

mdless() {
      pandoc -s -f markdown -t man $1.md | groff -T utf8 -man | less
umedit() { mkdir -p ~/docs/linux_stuff/knowledge; vim ~/docs/linux_stuff/knowledge/$1.md; }
um() { mdless ~/docs/linux_stuff/knowledge/"$1"; }
umls() { ls ~/docs/linux_stuff/knowledge; }

However, these leave a little to be desired in terms of completeness. I’ve been mostly satisfied with them so far though!

– reed 2018-11-12 20:37 UTC

Hah, to translate from Markdown to man is genius. :)

– Alex 2018-11-13 06:22 UTC

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