New personal experimental book

DJ Lucas dj at
Sat Sep 13 05:04:36 PDT 2008

Alexander E. Patrakov wrote:
> DJ Lucas wrote:
>> Alexander E. Patrakov wrote:
>>> DJ Lucas wrote:
>>>> Roll back to file-4.21.  The newer versions of file do not display the
>>>> character set if type is text/troff
>>> Testcase please. IMHO they are right, as it is impossible to reliably
>>> decide between, say, ISO-8859-1 and KOI8-R based only on manpage contents
>>> (without using a dictionary containing the translation of, say, "NAME"
>>> for all languages). I.e., the old version was likely to give wrong
>>> answers anyway, that's why this feature was removed. Could you please
>>> test both old and new "file" on manual pages installed by Man-1.6f?
>> Shouldn't be necessary, but if you'd like to see the output, I can post
>> it tomorrow.
> Indeed, contains the needed 
> info.
>> The -e switch is still broken and since the older versions are not
>> readily available... Have to look and see if I can find 22,23, or 24
>> with working -e, and without the broken guessing.  The changelog does
>> not mention releases.
> Don't even try. It simply (or, if you want, "logically" or "mathematically") 
> can't be unbroken without adding a dictionary, so don't wait for the fix. 
> That's why I always mention the consistency requirement (i.e., that the 
> encoding of all manual pages in a given directory should be the same) and the 
> resulting need to convert or move manual pages according to the chosen 
> convention (that is different in all distros, but has to exist in LFS, too).
Well, that is a separate issue.  File is still broken (either 4.21 with 
illogical guessing at the character encoding of text files, or 4.25 with 
non-working -e switch).  I didn't bother trying the -e switch with 4.26 
because I incorrectly assumed that the missing charset= output was a 
regression.  I'd rather not have the bad guesswork because Google turns 
up 'file -bi' many times, which gives a broken result for some text 
files (or man pages).

-- DJ Lucas

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