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Re: Bug#450432: ... and even more bugs like this?

Ivan Shmakov <ivan@theory.asu.ru> writes:

> 	Last week I've reported a bug in ifconfig(8) (as of net-tools
> 	1.60-17.)  The problem is in that the ifconfig.8 contains the
> 	following:

> --cut--
> .B ifconfig eth0:0 down
> . Note: for every scope (i.e. same net with address/netmask combination) all
> aliases are deleted, if you delete the first (primary).
> --cut--

> 	This is (I guess) intended to be rendered by Groff as:  ``ifconfig
> 	... in the bold face, then period (.), then Note:, ...''  However,
> 	it renders just as if there were no ``. Note:  ...'' line at all.
> 	I guess, it happens because Groff interprets ``. Note:'' (or
> 	``. Note''?) as a ``command'', and since it knows no definition
> 	for it, it ignores the entire line.

Yeah, this is a common roff coding problem.  That text should be written

    .BR "ifconfig eth0:0 down" .
    Note: ....

or with the period escaped.

In general, I wish that people would stop writing man pages directly in
roff unless they really know roff.  Some people do, and that's great, but
most people really don't and it's not a trivial language.  It has weird
corner cases and gotchas.  I know it well enough to have written various
translators to roff, and I still use POD to write all my man pages and
then convert them because doing it directly in roff is too error-prone.
Those who prefer it can of course use DocBook instead.

> 	What I'm expected to do, then?  (With respect to Debian BTS.)  I
> 	believe, start filing multiple bug reports would be a bad idea
> 	(for me now.)

Well, they certainly are bugs, and I think filing those bugs after you
verify that this is a problem and the period wasn't there for some other
purpose (such as to create a comment line) is perfectly fine.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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