nman Version 0.1

Registered by Matt Bukaty

The first goal of this blueprint will be to create the command line tool (a summary of the project is attached at the bottom of this blueprint.)

The intention is to replace having to call up man or info pages; or even --help; when trying to determine what command line arguements to pass. This system would perform the following:

Step 1: Determine what to display to the user. The system will parse the last one it finds. So if it finds a manual page for it and an info file; it will parse the info file. These are listed in lowest preference to highest preference.

1. Check to see if there is --help or -h for this command.
2. Check to see if there is a man page for it.
3. Check to see if there is a man chapter page for it.
4. Check to see if there is an info page for it.

Step 2: Displaying the results to the screen.

A bar will be created at the top with the command. This bar follows scrolling of the man page(s) and is the filed used to dyamically build the command.

CTRL - T will always jump to this area.

Below this bar will be the actual man or info pages.

Selecting an option; which will automatically be highlighted to prompt the user to select them; will automatically add this to the command line arguements in the Command Bar area.

If the -option has an -option=, -options path, or -options [args] this will automatically move their cursor to the command line bar. In the command line bar they are now able to hit CTRL-F to launch the "find" command. The results of the find command are brought up as a drop-down selection tool.

They can also hit CTRL-S to run a shell command. The [Tab] key will also display a command shell.

CTRL-G allows you to switch between having the system parse and display --help, man pages and info pages if you prefer one to the other.

If the user pipes "|" the syetem will automatically pull up the --help, man, or info pages for the piped command.

Hitting Carriage Return [Enter] does not execute the command but rather drops them back to the list of command line -switches.

Step 3 Execution.

Once the user is happy with the command they can either hit CTRL-X or "[Esc] :q" and it will take the command from the command bar and paste that into the shell to be executed.

Thoughts, comments or suggestions? Want to be a developer? Please contact me through Launchpad or via email at bukaty [at] gmail [.] com. I will also provide my Skype address if you are interested in speaking with me.

I would appreciate the help as I am a consultant and do not have the time to write this by myself.

I think this could be a big win for Ubuntu for new and seasoned administrators and users.


Summary of Project from Home Page:

Having to read man & info pages to then compile the list of command line arguements requires separate terminal windows or a notepad to write down the -switched you would like to use. This is a proposal for a project to dynamically parse man and info pages; prefering the latter; to allow the cursor to select -switches. If the man pages suggest [args] will prompt the user to specifiy them. When the [args] prompt is brought up it allows useage of the find command to locate the path. Supports piping in which case the man/info pages for the piped command are brought up allowing further usage of the dynamic context builder. nman is the command line version and gnman is the graphical version of the builder.

Blueprint information

Matt Bukaty
Needs approval
Series goal:
Accepted for trunk
Needs Infrastructure
Milestone target:
Started by
Matt Bukaty

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