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SunOS 5.11
Aliases: help(1)


Source Code Control System


sccs-help, help - ask for help regarding SCCS error or warning messages




The help utility retrieves information to further explain errors messages and warnings from SCCS commands. It also provides some information about SCCS command usage. If no arguments are given, help prompts for one.
An argument may be a message number (which normally appears in parentheses following each SCCS error or warning message), or an SCCS command name. help responds with an explanation of the message or a usage line for the command.
When the argument is all non-numeric, the text is searched in the file cmds. See the section FILES below for the related base directory.
When the argument starts with alpha characters and ends in numbers, the alpha prefix is used as a key to locate a file. If the key is seen in the helploc file, a new directory prefix is taken from that file, else it is used as a file name with the standard prefix to search for messages. The remainder of the argument is used to search a label in the message file and to print the message text.
When the argument starts with numbers, or a file related to key could not be found, the text is searched in the file default.
When all else fails, try ‘/usr/ccs/bin/help stuck’.


See environ(5) for descriptions of the following environment variables that affect the execution of help(1): LANG, LC_ALL, LC_CTYPE, LC_MESSAGES, and NLSPATH.


The following exit values are returned:
0 Successful completion.
1 No help could be printed.


directory containing files of message text
directory containing default files of message text in case that there is no text for the current locale
A file to map search keys to alternate directories to look for help messages. Each line in the file contains a search key, a TAB character and a directory name. If a matching key is found, the file searched for messages is named: directory_name/locale_name/key


The message files use the following format:
* Lines that start with a star are ignored and used as comments.
-label Lines that start with a minus sign and that end in a label mark the beginning of message text related to label.
other Other text is the message block that is printed until the next label ot the end of the file is seen.


See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes:
Availability SUNWsprot


The SCCS suite was originally written by Marc J. Rochkind at Bell Labs in 1972. Release 4.0 of SCCS, introducing new versions of the programs admin(1), get(1), prt(1), and delta(1) was published on February 18, 1977; it introduced the new text based SCCS v4 history file format (previous SCCS releases used a binary history file format). The SCCS suite was later maintained by various people at AT&T and Sun Microsystems. Since 2006, the SCCS suite is maintained by Schilling.


A frequently updated source code for the SCCS suite is included in the schilytools project and may be retrieved from the schilytools project at Sourceforge at:
The download directory is:
Check for the schily-*.tar.bz2 archives.
Less frequently updated source code for the SCCS suite is at:
Separate project informations for the SCCS project may be retrieved from:
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