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file variables and man pages with preprocessors

From: Werner LEMBERG
Subject: file variables and man pages with preprocessors
Date: Tue, 06 Nov 2007 08:50:31 +0100 (CET)

There is a convention in man pages to mark them whether a preprocessor
has to be used or not.  The first line must resemble

  '\" <string>

where <string> is a combination of letters which identify the used
preprocessor.  For example, `p' and `t' stand for pic and tbl,

  '\" tp

However, if a man page starts with such a comment, local file
variables can't be placed into the first line and are no longer
recognized by Emacs.

I thus ask to handle files which start with


similar to shell scripts, this is, to take the *second* line for file

Another reason for this request is the forthcoming release of groff
which contains a preprocessor, preconv, to handle man pages in various
input encodings, and which recognizes Emacs coding tags (within a file
variable at the top of a file).


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