Pending package updates

Matthew Burgess matthew at
Sun Feb 1 12:50:41 PST 2009

Hi all,

Just thought I'd drop a note on the pending package updates I've assigned to
myself.  I have patches to the book for all of these now.

However, as expected by looking at ticket #2322, there's slight issues with
Groff-1.20.1 and its interaction with Man-DB-2.5.3.

I've put some screenshots up at, which show the various

The 'enable-mb-groff' directory shows what happens in various locales having
(incorrectly) passed the --enable-mb-groff configure switch to Man-DB.  I say
"incorrectly" here, because in my build, I'm not applying a multibyte patch
to Groff as upstream provide multibyte support in a different manner.

Under these conditions, Russian man pages display correctly.  There's a slight
issue with hyphen characters that are added automatically by line-breaking
rules in 'man', as can be seen in the en_GB.UTF-8 'preconv' image.  This seems
to be because the 'sed' that is applied in the Groff instructions, specifically
to handle this issue, no longer makes any changes to the source of Groff-1.20.1
due to a change in the conventions used in fonts/devutf8/R.proto.  I've not
reported this upstream (bug-groff list) yet, but will do after I send this.
Also, that same hyphen character gets completely dropped in the en_GB.ISO-8859-1
locale due to a bug in Man-DB (reported upstream).

The 'default' directory shows what happens when the '--enable-mb-groff'
configure switch is not passed to Man-DB's configure invocation.  As you can
see, the Russian man pages here are completely broken.  I've reported this
upstream as well, as it looks as if Man-DB's configure script should be taught
that Groff-1.20.1 is multibye capable, even though it doesn't have the 'nippon'
and 'ascii8' devices.

I'd like to express my thanks here to Alexander Patrakov for assisting with
the i18n issues this work raised, and for providing test cases for Man-DB.
Although we worked off-list, completely unintentionally (it all spiralled
from a trivial "what are your plans for this ticket" email from Alexander to
me), hopefully this email has enough detail in it to let folks know where
abouts we are.

I'd like to think that I'll get a response back from the Man-DB maintainer
over the course of next week, at which point I'll decide how to proceed with
the rest of the package upgrades.



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