On Thursday 23 March 2006 4:51 pm, Wu Yongwei wrote:
> Keith Marshall wrote:
> > Note that, in spite of Yongwei's earlier suggestion that -Tascii
> > might be a more suitable choice of output encoding than latin1 for
> > most users, I haven't found this to be the case -- I use code page
> > 850 and export LESSCHARSET=latin1, and find -Tlatin one gives much
> > better results, using `man groff_char' as a yardstick. Therefore,
> > I've left the default setting as it is in the standard UNIX package;
> > if you think ASCII will work better for you, then add
> > `--with-nroff="nroff -Tascii -mandoc"' and `--with-neqn="neqn
> > -Tascii"' to the configure options. (Do note that you need to have
> > groff installed *before* you attempt to configure man, so you should
> > have the groff_char man page, which includes a table showing how the
> > entire available character set will be displayed).
> How about people using CP 932/936/950/..., or even people using
> directly CP 1252 (it is the case of rxvt; does it work with you `man')?
I've no idea. I assume that, in such cases, -Tascii *will* be the better
choice; in some cases, -Tutf8 may also be worth considering. (OTOH, the
-Tnippon, which appears in the JNROFF entry in man.conf, should be
avoided; it is not supported by any standard groff distribution, such as
groff-1.19.2-mingwPORT, and, AIUI only works with Debian Linux pre-1.18
groff packages; I believe even recent Debian distributions no longer
support it, and it is likely that man too will forget about it, in the
> If the program cannot decide the output according to the environment
> `smartly', I would still suggest using plain ASCII.
Yongwei, I didn't mean to imply any criticism of your recommendation to
adopt -Tascii; there are certainly many people for whom it will be the
right choice. But equally, there are also many for whom -Tlatin1 may be
a better choice; (I would suggest that this is likely to be true for the
majority of the population of Western Europe, the entire American
continent, Africa and Australasia, who *can* use cp850 or similar; even
if their default would be cp437, cp850 is certainly a viable alternative).
My intent with the above statement was to point out that I have opted to
retain the default configuration which Federico uses in the official man
distribution, and to indicate the configure options which may be used to
override that default, for those users who know in advance that -Tascii
will be the better choice for them.
While this MinGW snapshot for man is currently a fork of Federico's
official distribution, we two have engaged in some dialogue prior to my
posting of it. I believe that we both hope to one day merge the
MinGW/Win32 support back into the official distribution; to facilitate
that, I want to keep the same defaults as he has established
For those who wish to experiment, the --with-nroff and --with-eqn options
provide a mechanism for specifying an alternative initial configuration.
It is worth mentioning that this configuration can be changed later,
without rebuilding, simply by editing the installed man.conf file -- look
for the NROFF and EQN configuration records, and substitute any
alternative options. Another option worthy of comment here may be the
--with-pager option to configure, or the PAGER record in man.conf. By
default, this is set to `--with-pager="less -is"', (with a fully
qualified path name in man.conf). Using `--with-pager="less -irs"' as an
alternative seems to produce the same effect, with cp850, as exporting
`LESSCHARSET=latin1', obviating the need to set the environment variable.
And furthermore, for the experimenters, I would suggest as you did
before, that `man groff_char' provides a good yardstick for assessment of
alternative configuration options.