-1

I'm starting this meta due to the responses and down votes received for this question:

The .tmux.conf language

The comments (and am guessing the down votes) are here due to the existence of the man page for the following tool (tmux in this case).

I have unskillfully in the initial question added the part I'm can't seem to find a description of the syntax for customizing the config file which is a fault on my side and was corrected.

Having that removed, would ask for your opinion of the question as it currently is. I find that the existence of a documentation doesn't imply an invalid question per se.

I find that StackExchange has grown to be a place where people can get quick pragmatic answers to most common problems, and unless a generically formed question, pointing to a documentation isn't an answer but a form of patronizing. Patronizing is bad because it pushes newcomers from starting to use the open source tool and once they get value from it perhaps even participating in it's development.

What I would expect as an answer for this question would be an explanation of what the three commands actually do and how, for those are the commands often seen at user examples and would be more practical to have them as a reference and a man page for whoever wants to know more.

  • 1
    To lay it all out on the table, I wasn't trying to patronize with my answer. I simply don't find copying out man pages to be an efficient use of storage, bandwidth, or time (mine or the asker's) unless the passage is particularly erudite or difficult to find. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Dec 30 '17 at 12:56
  • Of course, I was hoping to present it as generic as possible and not personal. My perspective is that the man pages aren't usually a good quick reference or pointing someone to them actually solves any problem. For example doing /select-pane in the man page yields no result. I guess we have a different opinion about distilling the documentation to a particular problem. That's ok, I'd just like to see what is the consensus on that to not get down voted. – TheMeaningfulEngineer Dec 30 '17 at 13:07
  • For example, for questions related to Yocto it was encouraged on the conference to ask quesions on StackExchange as a form of helping people to get a grasp on what's going on, even though the documentation is very good. – TheMeaningfulEngineer Dec 30 '17 at 13:10
  • 1
    i actually thought the question was better in the original, with the comment about not finding the syntax. that's reasonable commentary; the tmux manpage is huge and it isn't at all clear that config file lines are equivalent to tmux some-subcommand -option -option2. the existing answer succinctly described the syntax; if the rest of your expectations aren't fulfilled, you could always post your own answer or edit the existing answer to add them. – quixotic Dec 30 '17 at 14:26
  • 1
    @TheMeaningfulEngineer I don't know what manpage your looking at, but I get 9 lines when grepping for select-pane on my Ubuntu 16.04. – muru Dec 30 '17 at 15:27
  • 2
    Worse, your problem is that what you're essentially asking for is the manpage. If you had a specific configuration to achieve, that wouldn't be solved just by the manpage, true, but if you're just going to ask for description of options, then that's the manpage. – muru Dec 30 '17 at 15:29
7

The comments (and am guessing the down votes) are here due to the existence of the man page for the following tool

No, the downvotes (or, at least mine) are because your question shows no research effort. If you mouse over the downvote button, that is the text that appears.

The fact that the tmux settings and commands are quite literal makes your lack of efffort even more egregious; in most cases, you can pretty much just guess what they do, based on the names that Nicholas has given them.

Patronizing is bad because it pushes newcomers from starting to use the open source tool and once they get value from it perhaps even participating in it's development.

This is a specious argument. First, it begs the question. As I have pointed out, the downvotes are not patronising; they are integral to the way the site and the community works.

Second, in any area of life, you are expected--as an adult, anyway--to be able to think for yourself. Documentation, including man pages, is there to assist that. People who are incapable of reading the documentation are unlikely to end up "participating in development" because that requires them to be able to think for themselves.

What I would expect as an answer for this question would be an explanation of what the three commands actually do and how, for those are the commands often seen at user examples and would be more practical to have them as a reference and a man page for whoever wants to know more.

The commands are, again, quite litterally self-explanatory. To illustrate that point, let's break one down as a class exercise:

bind-key v split-window -h

The first part (bind-key): what could that be doing? Perhaps, just guessing now, it would bind the key v to some command? Stay with me, the next bit is even more demanding. Could that command be split the window horizonatlly? I know, it seems a leap, but it makes a certain kind of sense when looked at from just the right angle, doesn't it?

I'll leave it as an exercise for you to type man tmux into a terminal and see how close that explanation actually is. If, that is, you can make as much as an effort opening the terminal as you did to post this meta question...

  • 2
    Hm... Once stripped from cynicism (which I'd more likely expect on an IRC channel than here), your points are correct. I have misjudged the man page and prematurely concluded that there isn't good documentation because my first google results were undocumented examples. Thanks, point taken :) – TheMeaningfulEngineer Dec 30 '17 at 19:57
  • This answer is excellent, however there is yet another very practical point to filter out low-quality questions; what would be the site use without moderation if the noise/signal ratio was so high you could not find valuable information anymore? – Rui F Ribeiro Jan 27 '18 at 19:33

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .