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Re: man(7) .TH font change, was: groff man(7) `B` macro...

From: Alejandro Colomar
Subject: Re: man(7) .TH font change, was: groff man(7) `B` macro...
Date: Sun, 19 Jun 2022 16:11:49 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:91.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/91.10.0

Hi Ralph,

On 6/19/22 16:00, Ralph Corderoy wrote:
Hi Alejandro,

We don't have full control, but we have considerable control,
since I maintain the Linux man-pages.

And it's great you're on the list.  For those who don't
know how Linux man pages are structured, you're referring to  So not the pages from
individual projects like Postfix, Samba, Git, curl, etc.


On this out of date system, the *.gz man pages under
/usr/share/man, so ignoring /usr/local/man, come from about
600 packages.  Package man-pages is the biggest supplier of
those at about 17% of the man-page files, but that still leaves
quite a few others.


More important, though, are the systems processing man pages
which won't understand .MR.  man pages written to be compatible
with those will have to ignore .MR or have some local test to
decide whether their internal macro should use .MR because it's
available or stick to the tried and tested method.

This is a short-term problem, very similar to the attributes one. But no-one is forcing the use of .MR. The feature could be used for new projects which don't care about portability to old systems. Projects where portability is important, such as the Linux man-pages, will have to wait a bit more to be able to start using them. My idea is that when groff 1.23.0 arrives to Debian stable, I'll consider using it in the project. That is likely to happen around 2023 or 2025, depending on if groff releases before the freeze or after it. oldstable and oldoldstable can apply some .tmac fix as you suggested, if they need it to backport the Linux man-pages.

I guess that by 2030 or 2040 many pages will be using .MR.



Alejandro Colomar

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