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[bug #56221] groffer does not support colon-specific values in MANPATH

From: Ingo Schwarze
Subject: [bug #56221] groffer does not support colon-specific values in MANPATH
Date: Fri, 26 Apr 2019 08:19:35 -0400 (EDT)
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; OpenBSD amd64; rv:66.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/66.0

Update of bug #56221 (project groff):

                Severity:              3 - Normal => 2 - Minor              


Follow-up Comment #1:

There are operating systems that support the MANPATH environment variable
(including the special behaviour of double and trailing colons that you
describe) but that do not have the manpath(1) utility and where it makes no
sense to compile and install a manpath(1) utility by hand.  Consequently,
portable software like groff cannot use the manpath(1) utility.

Then again, the overall code quality and software architecture quality of
groffer(1) are so low that it is very probably already non-portable in various
respects.  Even though i do regular cross-platform testing of groff (both from
git and for releases), i never bothered testing groffer(1), it's simply not
worth wasting time on.  Nobody should ever use it for anything, and i still
think that groffer(1) ought to be completely deleted from the groff tree.  Use
the real things, do not use poorly thought-out and poorly coded, likely
insecure wrappers.

Oh well, i don't really care what people do with groffer(1).  I merely wanted
to point out that manpath(1) cannot be used.

Of course, there is no good alternative.  The groffer(1) wrapper script is
gratuitously trying to redo half of the work of the man(1) utility.  That's
obviously a bad idea, but *if* somebody wants to do that, they have to rely on
internals of the man(1) command, even though those differ from system to
system, and what works with one man system may not work with another.


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