January 2, 2012

documentation

Hi, I'm relatively new to linux, and one thing I have trouble with is documentation. Are pro linux users expected to be reading source code for the _real_ documentation? I'm already a windows developer, but I'm still learning to develop on linux, and I want to be skilled like a pro.

Here's a specific example. I was just trying to understand how to interpret the list that is printed when I run
yum check-update
After searching the man page and yum website, I only saw a description of what the command does, but not how to interpret the output. I know it is supposed to list all packages with updates applied to them, but I do not simply get a list of names, I get a list in the format ' | ', followed by a list in the format /. Here's an example:

Loaded plugins: langpacks, presto, refresh-packagekit
adobe-linux-i386 | 951 B 00:00
adobe-linux-i386/primary | 11 kB 00:00
fedora/metalink | 21 kB 00:00
fedora | 4.2 kB 00:00
fedora/primary_db | 12 MB 01:23
fedora/group_gz | 431 kB 00:03
spotify | 1.3 kB 00:00
spotify/primary | 1.5 kB 00:00
updates/metalink | 17 kB 00:00
updates | 4.7 kB 00:00
updates/primary_db | 2.9 MB 00:19
updates/group_gz | 431 kB 00:02
adobe-linux-i386 17/17
spotify 3/3

Since there are two lists, I'm not sure what each one means. Plus, I want to know what the values in each column mean. I have guesses about all of this, but I want to be certain - you know?