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[Groff] '-' characters in man-pages when viewed in en_GB.UTF-8 locale

From: Mike Fabian
Subject: [Groff] '-' characters in man-pages when viewed in en_GB.UTF-8 locale
Date: Sat, 31 Aug 2002 14:31:38 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.090004 (Oort Gnus v0.04) XEmacs/21.4 (Honest Recruiter, i386-suse-linux)

when formatting man-pages in en_GB.UTF-8 locale, groff appears to use
U+2212 (MINUS SIGN) in the output where "\-" appears in the source of
the man-page.

Is this a bug or a feature?

For example, the man-page for 'man' looks like this in en_GB.UTF-8

    address@hidden:~$  zcat /usr/share/man/man1/man.1.gz | groff -mandoc -Tutf8 
- | head
     -n 10
    man(1)                  Manual pager utils                 man(1)

           man − an interface to the on‐line reference manuals

           man  [−c|−w|−tZT  device]  [−adhu7V] [−m system[,...]] [−L
           locale] [−p string] [−M path] [−P pager] [−r  prompt]  [−S

i.e. all the '-' characters in front of the option characters are
U+2212. Is this intentional? Why?

It seems to make searching in man-pages more difficult.  When looking
what the option '-c' of some program means, I used to enter

    man program RETURN

and less would search for the -c option. Now less tells me "Pattern
not found", which is true, '-c' is not there, only '−c' is.  But it
is quite difficult to enter U+2212 when searching in a man-page,
therefore this behaviour doesn't really appear useful to me.

After all, when calling the program on the commandline, I supply
the option '-c' and not '−c', therefore I would expect that
the formatted man-page also shows me '-c'.

Is this behaviour intentional or is this a bug?

When formatting the man-page in en_GB locale with -Tlatin1,

    address@hidden:~$  zcat /usr/share/man/man1/man.1.gz | groff -mandoc 
-Tlatin1 - | head -n 10

I get '-c' of course as it used to be.

Mike Fabian   <address@hidden>

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