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Re: [Groff] [groff/patch] transparent gzip

From: Ralph Corderoy
Subject: Re: [Groff] [groff/patch] transparent gzip
Date: Sun, 25 Aug 2002 18:18:12 +0100

Hi Emmanuel,

> > man pages aren't formatted by just groff;  packages like zsh are
> > installed on Unix systems that have ditroff as standard.  If man
> > decides to cope with compressed man pages then it either has to do
> > the job right, or man page authors have to know there are
> > limitations in using .so.
> Ahem. It's not the authors' fault, unfortunately. Using .so is not bad
> practice.

No, I don't think I suggested it was.  I was saying that if man stays
broken then man page authors have to know of the limitation.  I'd prefer
man was fixed, but I think that's unlikely given the problem's existed
long enough to spread this far and wide.

> > My out-the-box man handles things other than .gz.
> RTFSC ! if your man page exists in .bz2 form or whatever, man will
> decompress it using the tool specified in the man.config file. If the
> man page consists then of the single line ``.so man1/blah.1'', then
> man will try to source blah.1.gz if blah.1 does not exist. That's all.
> A symlink does in fact the job much better than this...

Sorry, but what are you saying here?

    That .bz2 processing only works for the initial file, and not for an
    .so files that might bring in?

    That .so processing only works if it's the first line, and for that
    first line it'll happily cope with anything in /etc/man.config.

The former I've already shown to be wrong in the transcript you snipped.

The latter I've already acknowledged when you pointed out man had
explicit `one line' handling.

So I think I must be missing something.

> > Patching groff is the wrong fix for the problem and would encourage
> > the general trend.  Patching gcc so I can bzip2 /usr/include/*.h
> > will be next  :-(
> For sure. This patch is merely a ``just my $0.02'' addition, and I
> wish there were no actual need for it. This being said, I don't think
> you can name it bloatware.

I never mentioned the b-word.  Just that we seem to be supporting what's
a bad idea these days;  compressed man pages.  If we didn't support it
it might roll over and die one day.



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