linker for binary object files
Most importantly, the old description line “Using LD, the GNU
linker” was completely bogus:
- The word "using" is useless. It goes without saying that a
manual page first and foremost intends to help with using a program;
however, it may also help when changing or replacing the program.
- It is useless to repeat the name in the one-line description, and a
particularly bad idea to vary the spelling in this place.
- The one-line description must never specify the source of the software.
Such information belongs into the AUTHORS and HISTORY sections.
What remains is just one single word, “linker”. While the one-line
description should indeed be concise, it should also be clear. Even though it
is not usually a complete sentence, having some kind of a predicate (which
action is performed) and some kind of an object (what does the program operate
on) is often helpful.
When designing a one-line description, keep in mind that people often search for
so try to include relevant search terms — of course, without making it
sound awkward. For this reason, “linker for binary object files”
is minimally better than “link binary object files” because
people might search for both “link” or “linker”.
While “binary object files” might seem slightly redundant, it is
arguably better than just “object files” for the same reason,
and because it avoids the inherent ambiguity of the term
Time spent polishing the one-line description to be as descriptive and concise
as possible is almost always well spent. It is the very first thing people see
of the manual page, and in the context of
it's all people have to judge whether that's the page they want to read.
Also note the following details:
- The date format changes.
- A source string like “binutils-2.17” is no longer
- The volume string cannot be overridden, no replacement is needed for
“GNU Development Tools”.
- Section headers need no quoting.