This manual is intended to describe what you need to know to use gnu as. We cover the syntax expected in source files, including notation for symbols, constants, and expressions; the directives that as understands; and of course how to invoke as.
This manual also describes some of the machine-dependent features of various flavors of the assembler.
On the other hand, this manual is not intended as an introduction to programming in assembly language—let alone programming in general! In a similar vein, we make no attempt to introduce the machine architecture; we do not describe the instruction set, standard mnemonics, registers or addressing modes that are standard to a particular architecture. You may want to consult the manufacturer's machine architecture manual for this information.