[metapost] Can't the manpage be more helpful?

Daniel H. Luecking luecking at uark.edu
Fri Mar 14 14:35:33 CET 2014

The manpage should at least say that you can get a list of options using.
    mpost --help
Maybe the full list is not there because of the rapid changes lately.

Unix people would mostly think of --help on their own. 

Others would naturally look in  texmf-dist/doc/metapost/base/ where 
mpman.pdf, appendix 2, has a (not necessarily up-to-date) list of 
command line options.

In MiKTeX there used to be (probably still is) top-level documentation 
that included the options for both tex and metapost as well as other 
standard programs. I seem to remember this in TeX Live, too, but I 
don't see it anymore. In texlive-en.html (Chapter 7) is listed three 
options common to a long list of programs including mpost:  
    --help  --verbose  --version


Daniel H. Luecking
Department of Mathematical Sciences
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, Arkansas
From: metapost [metapost-bounces at tug.org] on behalf of Dirk Laurie [dirk.laurie at gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, March 14, 2014 4:42 AM
To: metapost at tug.org
Subject: [metapost] Can't the manpage be more helpful?

The full manpage of `mpost` in the TeXLive distribution starts off thus:

       mpost [options] [commands]

       mpost --dvitomp dvifile[.dvi] [mpxfile[.mpx]]

       MetaPost interprets the MetaPost language and produces PostScript (EPS)
       or Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) pictures.

However, it gives no information whatsoever on "options". Experimentally
one finds that if you just give it "mpost code.mp" it produces files called
"code.1" etc that are in ordinary Postscript (not EPS).

I know it says later on "This manual page is not meant to be exhaustive."
And then directs you to the documentation directory without mentioning
the name or subdirectory of the file you should be reading first.

Surely the manpage, which currently is just over 100 lines long, could:

1. Tell you what to do in order to get EPS or SVG as advertised.
2. Say which file is the starting point when reading the documentation.

without becoming overly bloated?


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