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[Groff] Re: UTF-8 out-of-the box experience

From: Markus Kuhn
Subject: [Groff] Re: UTF-8 out-of-the box experience
Date: Thu, 03 May 2001 16:49:53 +0100

Werner LEMBERG wrote on 2001-05-03 13:15 UTC:
> What about this:
>   NROFF          /usr/bin/nroff -mandoc
> (no -T option).  This will use a default TTY device: First, it tries
> `locale charmap', then it checks `${LC_ALL-${LC_CTYPE-${LANG}}}', and
> finally it tests $LESSCHARSET.

Oh, beautiful !!!

Yes, I just confirmed that

  zcat /usr/share/man/man7/groff_char.7.gz | /usr/bin/nroff -mandoc | less

works properly with Red Hat 7.1 with both en_GB.UTF-8 and en_GB.

So all they have to fix is

a) use the line

  NROFF          /usr/bin/nroff -mandoc

instead of

  NROFF           /usr/bin/groff -Tlatin1 -mandoc

in /etc/man.config

b) fix the backspace bug in less.

> A bit undocumented, sorry.

Mentioning the LC_ALL/LC_CTYPE/LANG dependency on man nroff would be
very helpful, yes.

Looking at the nroff script, I note that it might perhaps be a good idea
to add a case for ISO-8859-* -> -Tascii8. At least one major Linux
distribution will have

  $ locale charmap

soon by default.


Markus G. Kuhn, Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge, UK
Email: mkuhn at,  WWW: <>

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