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Re: man errors

Mathieu Guillaume <mat@via.ecp.fr> writes:

> On Sat, 19 Apr 1997, Karl M. Hegbloom wrote:
> >  Well, that didn't work like it was supposed to. :-(  VM MIME'd it; I
> > didn't expect that.  Then something happened and it's undecodable.
> > Darn.   What it was, was the output from the man command showing a
> > pile of pages that it cannot find.  I'm wondering if I should `bug` on 
> > each one...  I guess that's the only way.  It will take 45 minutes to
> > do it.
> I see a lot of those too.
> I believe most (if not all) of those dangling symlinks are symlinks to
> undocumented.7.gz. 


It is probably possible to write a script to check all the files in
the archive, and file a bug (possibly "maintonly" or whatever it is
that only goes to the package maintainer) on lots of packages. I don't
know which would be quicker - I don't have the time to do either ATM.
I do think these bugs ought to be reported (though having a proper man
page would be even nicer).

Whether it is a good idea to have lots of package uploads just to fix this
bug is another question. The man maintainer did say, IIRC,
that he was intending to release a kludged version of man shortly
before the release that had an undocumented.7 page. He didn't want
to do this at the time of asking, or the bugs wouldn't show up and get

> Unfortunately, 'man' sometimes unzips the gz files when
> you read them, so undocumented.7.gz becomes undocumented.7 and the
> symlinks now point to a non-existing file, which is why you see those
> messages.

No, this isn't right. The reason is that in Debian 1.2, all the
symlinks were to undocumented.7, whereas in Debian 1.3 all the
symlinks should be to undocumented.7.gz. Some packages havn't changed
but policy does say to link to undocumented.7.gz.

Originally, it was thought that if the symlinks were to
undocumented.7.gz, then each man page would be cached separately thus
using up more disk space than would be saved by zipping the file. In
the current version of man, this is not the case, so undocumented.7.gz
is better. I don't know whether this is as a result of man changing
behaviour or a mistake originally.


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