Subject: Re: volunteers to fix catman?
To: Kevin P. Neal <>
From: Perry E. Metzger <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 09/15/1998 01:16:18
"Kevin P. Neal" writes:
> >> There isn't really a way to pair up an unformatted directory with a
> >> formatted directory. What's a good way of doing this?
> >
> >you could just assume that the unformatted directories and formatted
> >directories will be in parallel.
> And what about troff'd pages? Where do those go (if handled specially)? 
> It doesn't seem very pretty to hard code in paths for 'cat' files (and 'fmt'
> files on some systems?), especially with the configurability our man.conf
> gives us. 


> >> We could add a directive for specifying paths like "../cat1", but we would
> >> need a way to tie this to specific sets of directories. Perhaps:
> >> 
> >> _fmtdir /usr/{share,X11R6,blahblah}/man/man1 ../cat1
> Let me amend this:
> _catdir /usr/{share,X11R6,blahblah}/man/man1 ../cat1
> _fmtdir /usr/{share,X11R6,blahblah}/man/man1 ../fmt1
> Although I'm not convinced that having directives for both cat dirs and fmt
> dirs is the right thing. If troff'd pages are wanted then a different
> man.conf could be used. 

I disagree. You want to be able to generate catX and fmtX files

> >> Opinions? Suggestions?
> >
> >Just one thing to keep in mind: traditional catman(8) had the ability
> >to generate troff'ed pre-formatted man pages. You should make sure
> >that we don't make that capability difficult to add. (Indeed, if you
> >have a chance, you should actually add it.)
> Currently the man.conf has nroff in it for building formatted man pages.
> Plus, man has the -C option for specifying a different man.conf. 
> Why not have catman accept -C also? [*] A quick sed script could (unless I'm
> mistaking how troff is used) cook up a copy of man.conf to hand off to
> catman for troff'ing. That would eliminate the need for both _catdir and
> _fmtdir -- just _catdir would be needed. 

This would be very inconvenient. Besides, we want the traditional
functionality (which should be pretty straightforward to add.)

I've sent you a man page from an older system under separate cover.

> [*] Actually, I think I've already gotten command line handling written that
> is almost the same between man and catman. Also the environmental variable
> handling is the nearly the same between my man and catman. 

That is rather different from the traditional behavior most of us are
used to, though.