DJ Lucas dj at
Tue Oct 7 16:30:10 PDT 2008

Ken Moffat wrote:
> On Tue, Oct 07, 2008 at 05:59:14PM -0500, Randy McMurchy wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> I'm way on the downhill side of getting all the package
>> updates in. Groff is sort of a bugaboo, however. The
>> DJ book uses the Groff-UTF8 package, but I'm not sure it
>> does much.
>> Please give some input if you have any on this subject.
>> It would be an addition to LFS Chapter 6. Do we need it?
>> Note that the plans right now are to still include the
>> man-db package and not the man package which DJ used in
>> his version.
>> Any and all input in this internationalization stuff would
>> be appreciated, as I'm a totally English speaking Editor
>> without much knowledge about i18n.
>  I was the one who mentioned groff-utf8: from what Colin said,
> *current* man-db looks a better way to go (i.e. it converts non-UTF8
> pages, so we don't have to recode them).  The issue seems to be "can
> we use recent groff with man-db ?" and for that I have no idea, I
> haven't even got close to looking at how it's all set up in current
> debian and ubuntu.
No..only groff CVS.  The preconv code has been there for quite a while, 
and is most likely pretty solid, but is not in a released version.  I 
wouldn't be against grabbing a backport from RH (or others), but it 
still breaks CJK.   IOW, there is no benefit except to get preconv 
preprocessor into the hands of more testers.  This would be a good 
thing, but potentially introduces LFS to bugs that haven't been 
identified yet, and pretty much scraps CJK man pages for LFS.  The 
Debian groff patch and man-db are known to work very well together (I 
also vaguely remember reading something to the effect that it wasn't 
perfect for Korean, but far better than the alternative, and far 
superior for Japanese and Chinese).  Here is a direct quote from Colin 
Watson (man-db maintainer) concerning the current state:

> For staying as close to groff upstream as possible, you probably want to
> use the preconv preprocessor included in CVS groff. That eliminates the
> need for the Debian multibyte patch for most languages. Unfortunately
> there has been no new upstream release of groff since that work was
> done.
> The remaining problem is that nobody's yet finished the work on
> character classes in groff, which mean that certain kinds of specialised
> typography don't work: in particular the line-breaking algorithm
> required for Japanese text ("kinsoku shori") isn't implemented. This is
> the reason we're still sticking with the multibyte patch in Debian for
> now, since I want to avoid introducing regressions. I think everything
> other than CJK should work with preconv, although feedback from people
> actually regularly using it wouldn't hurt.

-- DJ Lucas

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