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Re: groff (non-ISO8859-1 manpages)


From: Edmund GRIMLEY EVANS <edmundo@rano.org>
Subject: Re: groff (non-ISO8859-1 manpages)
Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 15:32:08 +0100

> It is
> presumably simpler to just invoke groff with -Tascii in this case, but
> it would be better if this could be implemented in a way that doesn't
> prevent ISO-8859-1 users from reading English man pages in ISO-8859-1.

I'm trying to modify the mechanism to determine '-T' option of man-db.
For manpages other than English, '-T' option is determined by the
language of the manpage.  For English manpages, it is determined by
the user environment, that is, LANG (, LC_CTYPE, and LC_ALL) variable(s). 

BTW, I don't understand the necessity of ISO-8859-1 manpages for
English manpages.  Because:
 - English manpage sources should be written using ASCII because 
   Debian is an internationalized distribution.  English manpages
   are not only for English speakers but also for all users in the 
   world.  (Thus I wrote English manpages for 'user-ja' package!)
 - I think one of necessity of ISO-8859-1 is person's name.  However,
   for example, I don't write my name in my own characters (kanji) at
   the international mailing lists (All Debian lists other than local
   ones are international) nor in English manpages.  Non-ISO-8859-1 
   people do like me.  We take it for granted.  So ISO-8859-1-language 
   speaking people also should not use ISO-8859-1 at the international 
   mailing lists nor in English manpages.
 - Other ISO-8859-1 characters may appear such as hyphen, which is not
   written in the manpage source but added by groff due to '-Tlatin1'.  
   However, these characters can be expressed within ASCII, though 
   ISO-8859-1 characters may be more beautiful (for center dot and
   multplying mark).  Is 'it is more beautiful' the only reason?
   Or, May ASCII substitution cause misunderstanding of contents?

> There is a version of xterm that does doublewidth characters, and I
> think it does combining characters, too. I heard that it didn't get
> into Xfree86-4.0, but I thought that Markus Kuhn's UCS fonts, which
> include files such as "18x18ja.bdf", did go into XFree86-4.0. Can you
> check that?

I know, and it works well, but I don't understand why it is included 
in XF86-4.0...
And why separate font file for Japanese...

David said:
>> For example, when the desired manpage 
>> is not available in the native language, an English manpage is
>> displayed.  In such case, groff determines '-T' option by English,
>                            ^^^^^
>                            shouldn't this be man?
>                            groff formats accordig to the -T option 
>                            (or PostScript if none is given...)
>> not by the native language.  David's opinion means that
>> this behavior of groff should be changed.
> Not groff, man.

It's my mistake, though groff should be modified anyway.

Tomohiro KUBOTA <kubota@debian.or.jp>
"Introduction to i18n" - Debian Documentation Project

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