Feature proposal: ghc --full-flag-help ?

Marc Weber marco-oweber at gmx.de
Tue Mar 13 21:51:58 EDT 2007

On Tue, Mar 13, 2007 at 01:57:10PM +0100, Marc Weber wrote:
> Hi
> I did notice a lot of times that I just didn't remember the name of
> option X. How to look it up? Walk through html or pdf documentation?

Just printing a link to ghc online docs is not enough because:
  * maybe no internet availible
  * internet slow?
  * You still need to search/ scroll (too much effort)
  * getting help on flags is default behaviour of any linux application
    and most haskell developers are working on this os I think.
    Have you ever tried  info bash, info grep, info whatsoever and got
    the result "please visit http:// .. ?
    That's like invoking ghc printing "This is only a fake. Please
    execute realghc instead"

I'd love to implement this. But I might need some time.
I already know where to start (hacking on ghc intro on the ghc
documentation site .. ;-)

How should it look like?
dog http://www.haskell.org/ghc/docs/latest/html/users_guide/flag-reference.html  | html2text |  less
lynx -dump http://www.haskell.org/ghc/docs/latest/html/users_guide/flag-reference.html  | less
I'd prefer the first. Example text beeing quite readable:
	4.17.3. Alternative modes of operation
	Section 4.4, ^\Modes of operation^]

	|Flag         |Description                             |Static/Dynamic|Reverse|
	|--interactive|Interactive mode - normally used by just|mode          |-      |
	|             |running ghci                            |              |       |
	|             |Build a multi-module Haskell program,   |              |       |
	|--make       |automatically figuring out dependencies.|mode          |-      |
	|             |Likely to be much easier, and faster,   |              |       |
	|             |than using make.                        |              |       |
	|-e expr      |Evaluate expr                           |mode          |-      |
	|-M           |Generate dependency information suitable|mode          |-      |
	|             |for use in a Makefile.                  |              |       |

I don't know how less manages to draw lines between those rows.

I should have a look at how the html docs are created and extract the
flag documentation there.

But I can start hacking on this not earlier than the day after tomorrow.

Nevertheless documentation of ghc is great!

Two people told me to use man ghc. I've reinstalled ghc-6.6 on gentoo
even with docs. But I still don't have a man file. I couldn't find .
-iname "*man*" in ghc sources, too. Did I miss them or is there no
manpage? (Me doesn't need one but I'm curious)


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