Clarification in man page?

Doug Barton dougb at
Fri Apr 20 18:55:54 CEST 2012

On 4/20/2012 7:17 AM, Werner Koch wrote:
> On Fri, 20 Apr 2012 14:29, peter at said:
>> myself, and I've seen it mentioned by others on this mailing list. At least on
>> *nix, it's relatively common that options can come in any position of the arguments.
> That is not a general Unix feature but a GNU feature.

I use/develop for a lot of different Unix', it's pretty commonly
accepted at this point.

>> Werner, perhaps it is an idea to have the man page more explicit that all
>> options *must* come before the command?
> gpg from master does this:
>   $ gpg2 foo --armor
>   gpg: NOTE: `--armor' is not considered an option
>   usage: gpg [options] [filename]

That looks like a good change.

>> I think this sentence is easily misunderstood; in fact, I doubt the statement
>> can be made true. I read this as: since they are not distinguished, I can put
>> the (single) command in any old place I can put an option in.
> And that is actually the case.  The difference between commands and
> options is that you may only have one command.

To the OP, rather than saying, "Can you write better docs?" how about
proposing changes that make sense to you? Not only is that closer to the
open source model, it's notoriously hard for developers to document
their own work, since it all makes perfect sense to us. :)


    If you're never wrong, you're not trying hard enough

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