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Re: UTF-8 manual pages

On Fri, Oct 12, 2007 at 10:00:21AM +0200, Josselin Mouette wrote:
> Le jeudi 11 octobre 2007 à 12:22 +0100, Colin Watson a écrit :
> > My original plan was that UTF-8 manual pages should be installed in
> > /usr/share/man/<language>.UTF-8/ (unless your language is Chinese or
> > Portuguese, just use the language code, not the country code, so for
> > example French manual pages would go in /usr/share/man/fr.UTF-8/). I had
> > a long discussion with Adam Borowski on debian-mentors recently in which
> > he persuaded me that it was both possible and worth it to implement
> > compatibility with the scheme used by e.g. Red Hat, in which manual
> > pages installed in unadorned directories such as /usr/share/man/fr/ are
> > assumed to be in UTF-8.
> Sorry? Do you mean that in Debian this is currently not the case?

That is correct. /usr/share/man/fr/ is historically ISO-8859-1 and we
can't go around breaking that.

> How can you expect the encoding of a file given only its language?

*shrug* It's not an ideal situation but it's what we're historically
stuck with. man has a big table of what people have historically used.

> Anything else than a unique encoding is doomed to produce very ugly
> results.

That's why I advocate putting UTF-8 manual pages in
/usr/share/man/fr.UTF-8/ to make it explicit for the future.

However, it *is* possible to detect the special case of UTF-8 vs.
practically anything else we care about fairly reliably, so manconv
implements that anyway. Files that have historically been assumed to be
ISO-8859-1 should still work fine as such. I've taken a fair amount of
care not to break this.

Do you have a practical example of something that's breaking? Your
concern is not very specific.


Colin Watson                                       [cjwatson@debian.org]

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