Hi there

On 2017-06-14 01:02, Simon van Meygaarden wrote:
The first thing a new user will see when FreeDOS boots, is the message
"Type HELP to get support on commands and navigation". When one types
HELP, the first line of the Main Help page says "For information on
using Help, press F1...". When F1 is pressed, the How to use the
FreeDOS Help page is displayed, and this pages mentions WHATIS and


I *fully agree* with you that the user shouldn't get mislead or
confused by references to inexistent commands. No issue.

I was not referring to that particular HELP problem. What I was
commenting on was the utility of those commands, 'whatis' and
'apropos', which imho is little, or less than expected. All useful
information is in the man pages (if the distribution has them at all,
of course). The whatis database is nothing but a collection of those
short descriptions from man pages; it's useful to get quickly a list
of commands related to a topic, nothings else.

The very name 'whatis' is actually misleading;

        whatis blah

doesn't tell what blah really is but what is there related to blah.
This is confusing particularly for novices who expect that 'whatis'
will explain a concept, a technical term or anything. That's why
I say it's rather for experienced users who understand those terse
descriptions and see immediately what to look at -- using 'man',
what else :-)

Where are those good old times we had those spiral-bound manuals?

Best wishes to all,

Jiri Wackermann, Dr.phil.
Independent researcher
Elzstr. 33b
D-79261 Gutach i.Br.

Tel.: +49 7681 4936707
Tel.: +49 151 29105469 (mobile)
E-Mail: m...@jiri-wackermann.eu

"Est modus in rebus ..." (Horatius)

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