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    I cannot even make sense of most sentences in that article. Ironically, I could put it together that the author is complaining about nonsenses in Unix.

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      [man] said “Documentation is held in the user area in room 932” (or something like that)

      Wow, that’s amazing. I guess some admins decided to save disk space.. which was precious back then.. (but help text was always really small though? and this is just about a year away from Windows 95 which would put lots of help files on every PC?)

      “Starlink’s Unix software can be run from the C-shell or T-C shell, but not from the Bourne or Korn shells.”

      h.. how did they manage to do that??

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        Apropos (or even “apropos”) means “apt, appropriate”, which, even if you knew the command existed, would not immediately suggest a way to find out information about something. In addition to their other failings, the authors of this command are illiterate.

        That’s as an adjective. If the author had read further in the dictionary they would have seen it also means “about”, “concerning”, when used as a preposition.

        I agree though that I would have never thought of typing apropos at the command line without knowing of the command beforehand.

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          For those who like to discover systems by reading the manuals (which is not the way everyone learns best, I recognize…) they’d probably have discovered it by reading the manual for man (man man) and seen that it’s an alias for man -k. I found apropos to be a mnemonic that suited me better than man -k. So while I never thought of it before knowing of the command, I found it easier to remember than man -k and easy to discover because it was mentioned in the documentation for man.

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            What I understood from the author’s point of view is not that man -k or apropos don’t serve their job, it is that something like help would be better.

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              If memory serves, shells of the era used to have a builtin help command, whose purpose was to supply help text for the shell itself and its builtins.

              Using it for the systemwide help wouldn’t have worked very well unless you could forbid shells from squatting on it.