Subject: bin/6728: nroff -man formats for 66 line printers
To: None <>
From: Tim Rightnour <>
List: netbsd-bugs
Date: 01/04/1999 13:48:07
>Number:         6728
>Category:       bin
>Synopsis:       nroff -man formats for 66 line printers
>Confidential:   no
>Severity:       non-critical
>Priority:       medium
>Responsible:    bin-bug-people (Utility Bug People)
>State:          open
>Class:          sw-bug
>Submitter-Id:   net
>Arrival-Date:   Mon Jan  4 13:05:00 1999
>Originator:     Tim Rightnour
Tim Rightnour  -
Free Multi-Platform Operating System:
NetBSD Mailing lists on the web:
>Release:        1.3.0<NetBSD-current source date>
System: NetBSD polaris 1.3.2 NetBSD 1.3.2 (POLARIS) #1: Fri Nov 6 07:41:34 MST 1998 root@:/usr/src/sys/arch/i386/compile/POLARIS i386

Apparently, regardless of the output device (tty or printer) nroff -man
will format the output to 66 lines.  An excellent example of this was detailed
in PR #3931, which notes that ps's man page does the following:

     -o      Display information associated with the space or comma separated
             list of keywords specified.  Keywords may be appended with an
             equals (``='') sign and a string.  This causes the printed header

             to use the specified string instead of the standard header.

the blank line is at line 65 in the formatted output.  All manpages seem
to do this, it just so happens some are formatted to either hide it, or
its not as noticable.

man ps
Man pages should be formatted for an infinate number of lines when displayed
to a tty.  This probably a bug in nroff, or the mandoc macros.  The current
output is ugly when viewed via man (which is probably 99% of the viewing

Xref PR #3931 for more details.  (which I am closing in favor of this one)