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bug#2588: 23.0.90; Man buffer improperly formatted - wrong width

From: Chong Yidong
Subject: bug#2588: 23.0.90; Man buffer improperly formatted - wrong width
Date: Sun, 08 Mar 2009 15:06:02 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.60 (gnu/linux)

"Drew Adams" <address@hidden> writes:

> Please do not set COLUMNS to any value that is designed for frames -
> that includes `default-frame-alist'. COLUMNS is about buffer text
> formatting, not about frame sizing.
> The formatting width for the `Man' buffer, like that of for the *Help*
> buffer or the *Apropos* buffer or others, should have *nothing to do*
> with the width of any window or frame parameter - existing or default.

The `man' facility is different from apropos or help---the text is
generated by an external formatter, not by Emacs.  If COLUMNS is
omitted, the formatter output is too long for the frame width, on at
least one (Debian) system.

Setting COLUMNS to the frame width does the right thing most of the
time, and covers more cases than a hardcoded value.  It's true that it
can fail for the pop-up-frames case, and we can work around that by
using default-frame-alist.  Certainly, it's always possible to come up
with a special setup that makes this heuristic fail.  But if you're
setup is so special, just set Man-width and be done with it.

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