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Non-ASCII characters in man pages produced by groff 1.23

From: Jens Schmidt
Subject: Non-ASCII characters in man pages produced by groff 1.23
Date: Sun, 29 Oct 2023 17:13:20 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla Thunderbird

In analogy to Eli's recent Texinfo 7.1 thread ...

Since groff 1.23 (used in Debian testing, for example) we have:

o The an (man) and doc (mdoc) macro packages no longer remap the -, ',
  and ` input characters to Basic Latin code points on UTF-8 devices,
  but treat them as groff normally does (and AT&T troff before it did)
  for typesetting devices, where they become the hyphen, apostrophe or
  right single quotation mark, and left single quotation mark,
  respectively.  This change is expected to expose glyph usage errors in
  man pages.  See the "PROBLEMS" file for a recipe that will conceal
  these errors.  A better long-term approach is for man pages to adopt
  correct input practices; the man pages groff_man_style(7),
  groff_char(7), and man-pages(7) (subsection "Generating optimal
  glyphs"; from the Linux man-pages project) contain such instructions.
  Doing so also improves man page typography when formatting for PDF.

See source


and also the PROBLEMS entry


It seems, however, that at least Debian plans to conceal that issue again


To clarify what the problem is: If, for example, you search for




in *Man curl* on Debian testing, you won't find that option, because
curl's author hasn't yet properly quoted all minus characters in the
generated man page source.  As a result, they are rendered as
?\N{HYPHEN} in man's output and occur as such in the Man-mode buffer.
(Well, that concrete example above got fixed already, but others are
still left.)

I have been bitten by that already, and not only me:


So this is not an Emacs issue, it might get gradually better as man
page authors improve their text, and it probably will go away for
Debian when Debian freezes trixie.  Which means this is just an FYI,
and nothing which requires any action ... or what do you think?

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