Re: [Rd] RFC: What should ?foo do?

From: Simon Urbanek <simon.urbanek_at_r-project.org>
Date: Fri, 25 Apr 2008 10:41:19 -0400

On Apr 25, 2008, at 8:46 AM, Peter Dalgaard wrote:

> Duncan Murdoch wrote:
>> I haven't done it, but I suspect we could introduce special behaviour
>> for ??foo very easily. We could even have a whole hierarchy:
>>
>> ?foo, ??foo, ???foo, ????foo, ...
>>
>>
> Heh, that's rather nice, actually. In words, that could read
>
> ?foo: tell me about foo!
> ??foo: what can you tell me about foo?
> ???foo: what can you tell me about things like foo?
> ????foo: I don't know what I'm looking for but it might be something
> related foo?
>
> You do have to be careful about messing with ?, though. I think many
> people, including me, would pretty quickly go nuts if ?par suddenly
> didn't work the way we're used to.
>

I strongly agree with that.

One potential way out could be to offer some extended fall-back in case the man page doesn't exist. (I'm not sure I like that, either, but I could get used to it ;).)

I don't really have a problem with status quo and I think if you want proper advanced searches, you should be using (or implementing them) in the GUIs anyway. That is what the new users will be using (and looking for) in the first place. If they have to count the question marks instead, they won't know about it (although I like the idea for advanced users).

Cheers,
Simon

>



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