bugGNU troff - Bugs: bug #52444, Half the man pages save and...


bug #52444: Half the man pages save and restore compatibility mode like macro packages

Submitted by:  G. Branden Robinson <gbranden>
Submitted on:  Sun 19 Nov 2017 05:37:28 AM UTC  
Category:  None Severity:  2 - Minor
Item Group:  Documentation Status:  Fixed
Privacy:  Public Assigned to:  G. Branden Robinson <gbranden>
Open/Closed:  Closed Planned Release:  1.22.4

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Mon 18 Jun 2018 07:38:37 AM UTC, comment #6:

Fixed in 518577df68d021335f49e227f8866f4b98e947ca.

G. Branden Robinson <gbranden>
Project MemberIn charge of this item.
Tue 21 Nov 2017 05:55:04 AM UTC, comment #5:

Okay, I've fixed the 2 pages that were compatibility-mode broken, and enhanced my ugly local regression-testing script to check compatibility mode.

To address this bug, I now propose to do the following:

1) See if any of the pages currently saving and restoring compatibility mode can get along without it, since it is a down-in-the-weeds kind of thing as Ingo noted. By this I simply mean seeing if any pages as currently written are doing a .cp 0 when they don't need to.

2) Add a boilerplate comment to this procedure in all of the man pages that do do it. So that readers understand and with luck no one will file a bug like this nor break compatibility mode in pages in the future.

As Steffan noted, I will probably do (2) with a sed script. :)

Any objections?

G. Branden Robinson <gbranden>
Project MemberIn charge of this item.
Mon 20 Nov 2017 09:41:27 AM UTC, comment #4:

Compatibility mode on is the default if groff gets built on Solaris. Otherwise zillions of man pages are not correctly formatted – at least that is the situation with Solaris 10 and 11.

Werner LEMBERG <wl>
Project Administrator
Mon 20 Nov 2017 09:00:55 AM UTC, comment #3:

Okay, Werner's hint to cast git blame led me to the answer.


I don't understand how or why the original bug submitter had compatibility mode on by default, but that may not matter.

If I "git log 8ac03ed2a5e1672754749df87c1742e7d161e32c" I see a major effort by Werner to make all the man pages work in compatibility mode. Rather than rewrite them all in a portable subset, this trick was done.

A quick check reveals that a couple of pages have problems. One I introduced on 2 November, and I'll commit a fix for it after I've done some tests.

The other one was around even back then. What's the best way to fix it?

And here's my patch for the other problem:

G. Branden Robinson <gbranden>
Project MemberIn charge of this item.
Sun 19 Nov 2017 05:24:04 PM UTC, comment #2:

Even if there used to be some reason in the past, the two snippets look like providing a bad example, and it seems desirable to get rid of them. Manual pages ought to avoid fooling around with low-level internals.

Ingo Schwarze <schwarze>
Project Member
Sun 19 Nov 2017 06:02:10 AM UTC, comment #1:

I no longer remember, sorry – maybe `git blame' brings some more info...

Werner LEMBERG <wl>
Project Administrator
Sun 19 Nov 2017 05:37:28 AM UTC, original submission:

About half (29 of 62) in-tree man pages do some tomfoolery like this:

What is the point of doing this in a man page? That's a "terminal" document, not something that's going to get sourced by another document.

Is this something cargo-culted in? Or is there a good reason for it, and the other 33 man pages should be following suit?

G. Branden Robinson <gbranden>
Project MemberIn charge of this item.


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    Follow 6 latest changes.

    Date Changed by Updated Field Previous Value => Replaced by
    2018-06-18 gbranden Open/ClosedOpen => Closed
    2018-06-18 gbranden Planned ReleaseNone => 1.22.4
    2017-12-14 gbranden Severity3 - Normal => 2 - Minor
        StatusNeed Info => Fixed
    2017-11-20 gbranden StatusNone => Need Info
        Assigned toNone => gbranden

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