Please review for Man-DB changes

DJ Lucas dj at linuxfromscratch.org
Sat Oct 25 07:47:47 PDT 2008


Alexander E. Patrakov wrote:
> DJ Lucas wrote:
>   
>> Many other distributions ignore the problem
>> completely, leaving the end user with a mix of readable and
>> unreadable manual pages, and even worse yet, unreadable error
>> messages when a suitable manual page is not found.
>>     
>
> "ignore the problem" => which problem? The text suggests that many 
> distributions ignore that fact that different distributions have 
> different policies. Some other word is needed. Maybe: "Many other 
> distributions ignore the need for a consistent policy, leaving the user 
> with ..."?
>
> "a mix of readable and unreadable manual pages" - yes, very well 
> spotted, better than I formulated on this list! However, there is a very 
> low-priority wish: some people will misinterpret the word "unreadable" 
> as "no way to make the man program access this file" instead of "man 
> reads this file and displays garbage". Here a picture would be worth 
> thousand words, but pictures are not in the current LFS tradition.
>
> "and, even worse yet, unreadable error messages" => no, unreadable pages 
> are worse. And this situation follows from a bug in the "man" program 
> (it uses the obsolete catgets interface instead of gettext), not from 
> misplaced or misencoded manual pages, so let's not mention it.
>
>   
Many other distributions ignore the on disk encodings completely, 
leaving the end user with a mix of improperly encoded manual pages.  
When man encounters an unexpected encoding, it will display the contents 
as configured, resulting in completely illegible text.

>> Man-DB uses a
>> built-in table (see below) to find the correct serach directory for
>> manual pages based on the user's locale settings.
>>     
>
> No, it doesn't look into the table in this case. See add_nls_manpath() 
> in http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~cjwatson/bzr/man-db/trunk/src/manp.c
>
> It iterates over all subdirectories and tests whether the subdirectory 
> is for the user's language, completely disregarding the encoding.
>   
...ships with manual pages in legacy encodings.  Man-DB uses a built-in 
table (see below) to determine the on disk encoding of the manual pages 
found for a user's locale. If the directories found do not contain the 
".UTF-8" extension, Man-DB checks the table, and performs the necessary 
conversion.  E.g., because of "UTF-8" in the directory name...

-- DJ Lucas

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