[arch-dev-public] groff: archaic technology go

Dan McGee dpmcgee at gmail.com
Mon Jan 14 17:26:59 EST 2008

On Jan 14, 2008 4:23 PM, Aaron Griffin <aaronmgriffin at gmail.com> wrote:
> Man.... man pages and groff and all this crap are waaay too complex
> for what they do.
> Anyway, here's the deal, and hopefully someone will know a better/more
> proper way to do this.
> With the utf8 man page changes (pending, see other email), some UTF-8
> characters come out a bit goofy. I don't know if it is only
> en_US.UTF-8 or not.

/me thinks all utf8.

> The simply fact is that there's like 3 different 'dash' characters in
> UTF-8, and the ones displayed are not the ones your keyboard outputs.
> So searching for "-S" doesn't work.
> Long story short, adding the following to
> /usr/share/groff/site-tmac/man.local fixes this:
> .if '\*[.T]'utf8' \
> .  char \- \N'45'
> .  char - \N'45'
> .  char ' \N'39'
> ..
> Yeah, all those dots are needed... most of those replacements are
> gleaned from a SuSe changelog, but they work here.
> Could someone else make this change, or possibly suggest a better way
> to do the same thing? What we're doing is telling nroff not to use the
> fancy chars and use the same ones the keyboard uses.

Well it looks odd, but it does exactly what you tell it to do. No one
uses it for text processing anymore, but that is what it was
originally for and thus the reason it outputs some of those fancy


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