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Sman: swish-e tool for searching man pages

From: Josh Rabinowitz <joshr-swishe(at)>
Date: Sun Apr 18 2004 - 16:05:43 GMT
Hello Everyone,

I wanted to let people here know about Sman, a new 'man -k' and
'apropros' replacement based on swish-e and perl.

Here's an example of 'sman' in action:

   % sman kernel module -m 4 --rank
   1000 lsof            (8) list open files
    939 vinum           (4) Logical Volume Manager
    855 loader          (8) kernel bootstrapping final stage
    825 perlthrtut      (1) tutorial on threads in Perl

You can find it at .

Following is part of the Sman README.  I'm planning a new release of
Sman soon so would be a good time to get me your input!

      Sman is the Searcher for Man pages. Based on the example of the
      same name in Josh Rabinowitz's article "How To Index Anything"
      in the July, 2003 issue of Linux Journal
      (, sman is
      an enhanced version of 'apropos' and 'man -k'.  Sman adds
      several key abilities over its predecessors:

      * Supports complex natural language text searches such as
          "(linux and kernel) or (mach and microkernel)"

      * Shows results in a ranked order

      * Allows for searches by manpage section, title,
          body, or filename

      * Indexes the complete contents of the man page, not just
          the title and description

      * Uses a prebuilt index to perform fast searches

      * Performs 'stemming' so that a search for "searches"
        will match a document with the word "searching"

Where do I get sman?
      Sman is currently distributed from .

I'm especially interested in input from users. Note that you'll need 
to run sman-update to build the index for sman before you can use it!
-- Josh Rabinowitz                  --
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Received on Sun Apr 18 09:05:44 2004