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Re: [Groff] empty line before .TH in man page produces sometimes an empt
Re: [Groff] empty line before .TH in man page produces sometimes an empty page
Mon, 2 Oct 2006 09:28:52 +0100
Clarke Echols wrote, quoting Bernd Warken:
>> Consider the followin short man page:
>> $ cat manpage.1
>> \" comment
>> .TH MANPAGE 1 "2006 Oct 1" "manpage"
>> .SH NAME
>> manpage \- test man page
>> This has a bug: the first line (with the comment) should start
>> with a dot. For example, the man page bash.1 has this bug.
>> Without the dot, this line produces an empty space in the output.
>> In text or html output, this space is a single empty line, ok.
>> But in ps or dvi output, a whole empty page is created. I consider
>> this a bug in ps and dvi mode.
> ABSOLUTELY NO LINES, other than genuine troff/groff comment lines
> should appear in a man page file before the .TH line.
> Any line before .TH that is not a comment will create a break in
> no-fill mode, and in fill mode will create a non-empty buffer prior
> to the .TH line, causing unpredictable behavior, depending on
> various environment/status conditions.
In other words, the behaviour Bernd perceives as a bug is *not* a bug,
in the sense of his report -- it is undefined behaviour resulting from
misuse of the man macros. If you misuse code, in a manner which leads
to undefined behaviour, then *any* outcome is legitimate; just because
that behaviour is different under differing circumstances doesn't make
any one of the observed outcomes any less legitimate than any other.
Yes, there is a bug; it is in the manpage source which places content
before the .TH line.