Please review for Man-DB changes

DJ Lucas dj at linuxfromscratch.org
Thu Oct 23 17:23:15 PDT 2008


Alexander E. Patrakov wrote:
> DJ Lucas wrote:
>
>   
>> OK.  But I am still under the impression that is the expected future.  
>> That doesn't change the fact that it is totally incorrect as written and 
>> needs to corrected to show the proper state.
>>     
>
> Well, Debian certainly won't switch to UTF-8 manual pages until they 
> release Lenny. And, judging by their graph of release-critical bugs, 
> this will happen in 9-10 months or so. What they are doing right now is 
> preparing the infrastructure: a viewer that understands UTF-8 encoded 
> manual pages, a perl patch so that pod2man can produce them, in the 
> future they plan to write dpkg helper scripts that actually convert 
> manual pages at package creation time. Only after that, the switch 
> becomes possible.
>
> However, if I were Debian, I would delay the switch even further. Right 
> now, ISO-8859-1 manual pages can be converted to PostScript directly 
> with Groff. By converting manual pages to UTF-8, you lose the ability to 
> print them. Isn't printing a really important feature? ;)
>
>   
>>>> Upstream packagers will very likely drop legacy encodings in favor of
>>>> UTF-8, though adoption has been slow due to the hacks required to
>>>> make the current Man and Groff packages work correctly together.
>>>>     
>>>>         
>>> I don't know how to comment on this. Modern desktop packages come with 
>>> DocBook documentation, not manual pages.
>>>   
>>>       
>> :-)  The point of both of the above points is to make known that we will 
>> be seeing more UTF-8 encoded manual pages...especially with both Debian 
>> and RedHat going that route.  It still needs rewording, or removal.
>>     
>
> I vote for removal, especially because MPlayer (a package under rapid 
> development) still ships with non-UTF-8 manual pages. And while UTF-8 
> manual pages may be the future, the timeframe is not defined.
>
>   
>> OK.  I thought about doing that too, but French man pages include shell 
>> scripts to do the conversion before installation so it's not a good 
>> place to show off convert-mans.
>>     
>
> Why not? Mention that the equivalent scripts exist in the package, but 
> that for the sake of demonstration, out "convert-mans" script is used.
>
>   
OK.  I've taken into account all of the above.  While  I've shortened 
the text quite a bit, I think it reads well and all of the important 
topics are in place.  I'm again out of time so it hasn't been thoroughly 
reviewed...probably a few spelling or grammatical errors, but that is 
the general idea I think.  Again, I ask for  review.

-- DJ Lucas


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