Subject: man pages & style guide
To: None <current-users@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Julian Bean <>
List: current-users
Date: 03/06/1996 22:23:23
I finally built userland this morning (Allen Briggs said it might take
about 2 days of processor time.  It took me over 4 weeks, although mainly
because -current hasn't been in a fully buildable state for a while... ;-)

Anyway, this included, I noticed, as the last step, building the whatis DB.
I thought "goodie, it'll have indexed perl and tcsh and zsh".  No such

That was because they are in /usr/local/man.  So I ran makewhatis by hand
on /usr/local/man.  Unfortunately, all my installed man pages are in
unformatted (man) format, rather than cat format.

Now, on SVR4 (or Solaris, anyway) you can do a catman to automagically
convert all man pages to preformatted .0 versions.  There doesn't appear to
be such a command under BSD.

Should makewhatis.sed in fact understand unformatted (nroff) input as well
as formatted, perhaps?  Although i should quite like to catman all my local
pages, since groff is *very* slow, considering I am running on a 25Mhz

I am quite capable of writing a script to do this, I was just wondering if
there was a better way.  It has always seemed to me than maybe man should
save the preformatted version everytime it is invoked on an unformatted

On a not entirely unrelated note, whilst browsing around my new userland, I
read the BSD style guide.  It is not exactly my personal C style, but it's
pretty close, and I'm prepared to adjust.  But why do we dislike ANSI
function definitions, with parameter types in the arglist??  I was brought
up on this (I learnt C from the Que C Quick Reference Guide *shame*
although I did later read K&R on the subject).

Certainly all C++ I have ever seen uses ANSI function definitions.  But
then again, 'real' C programmers don't like C++, do they? ;-)

Also, although I feel much less strongly about this, why do we not named
parameters in prototypes?  I always feel this makes header files nicely



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