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Bug#303840: marked as done (bsdmainutils: [ul] 'ul' doesn't underline)

Your message dated Fri, 16 Oct 2009 20:16:56 +0200
with message-id <20091016181656.GA5425@feivel.credativ.lan>
and subject line Works nicely
has caused the Debian Bug report #303840,
regarding bsdmainutils: [ul] 'ul' doesn't underline
to be marked as done.

This means that you claim that the problem has been dealt with.
If this is not the case it is now your responsibility to reopen the
Bug report if necessary, and/or fix the problem forthwith.

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303840: http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=303840
Debian Bug Tracking System
Contact owner@bugs.debian.org with problems
--- Begin Message ---
Package: bsdmainutils
Version: 6.0.17
Severity: normal

On my system 'ul' doesn't underline any text.

  % echo hello | ul
  hello		# no underline.

...but the terminal can do it with 'echo':

  % echo -e "\033[38mhello\033[39m"
  hello		# underlined nicely, but I can't show it in 7-bit ASCII.

The 'ul' man page says the 'TERM' variable plays a role:

  % man ul | grep -A 4 -n "TERM var"
  34:     TERM  The TERM variable is used to relate a tty device with its device
  35-           capability description (see termcap(5)).  TERM is set at login
  36-           time, either by the default terminal type specified in /etc/ttys or
  37-           as set during the login process by the user in their login file
  38-           (see environ(7)).

On my xterm TERM is:

  %echo $TERM

...perhaps that's wrong?  But the man page is vague as to what TERM
might or should be set to.  It also recommends man pages such as
'termcap(5)', (which is Greek to me), and 'environ(7)' which unhelpfully

  % man environ | grep -n "terminal type"
  46:       TERM   The terminal type for which output is to be prepared.

...less than 'man ul' said.

And so I'm unable to tell if:

  1) my system is misconfigured. In which case 'man ul' should include
     some common TERM examples for mixed-up users.

  2) 'ul' is buggy.

If it matters, I've tried 'ul' (without success) from a console
(TERM=linux), 'gnome-terminal' and 'xterm', (TERM=xterm).  

Hope this helps...

-- System Information:
Debian Release: 3.1
  APT prefers unstable
  APT policy: (500, 'unstable'), (1, 'experimental')
Architecture: i386 (i686)
Kernel: Linux 2.6.9-1-686
Locale: LANG=C, LC_CTYPE=C (charmap=ANSI_X3.4-1968) (ignored: LC_ALL set to C)

Versions of packages bsdmainutils depends on:
ii  bsdutils                    1:2.12p-4    Basic utilities from 4.4BSD-Lite
ii  debconf [debconf-2.0]       1.4.47       Debian configuration management sy
ii  debianutils                 2.13.2       Miscellaneous utilities specific t
ii  libc6                       2.3.2.ds1-20 GNU C Library: Shared libraries an
ii  libncurses5                 5.4-4        Shared libraries for terminal hand

-- debconf information:

--- End Message ---
--- Begin Message ---
This works nicely at least with fairly up-to-date ul versions:

michael@feivel:~$ echo -e "a\b_"|ul|hexdump -C
00000000  1b 5b 34 6d 61 1b 5b 32  34 6d 0a                 |.[4ma.[24m.|

Please keep in mind that ul is supposed to read ol lineprinter files and
translate them to your terminal, i.e. to underline you have to print the text,
then backspace and re-print with underscores.

Michael Meskes
Michael at Fam-Meskes dot De, Michael at Meskes dot (De|Com|Net|Org)
Michael at BorussiaFan dot De, Meskes at (Debian|Postgresql) dot Org
ICQ: 179140304, AIM/Yahoo/Skype: michaelmeskes, Jabber: meskes@jabber.org
Go VfL Borussia! Go SF 49ers! Use Debian GNU/Linux! Use PostgreSQL!

--- End Message ---

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