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Re: Bug#1018737: /usr/bin/rst2man: rst2man: .TH 5th field

From: G. Branden Robinson
Subject: Re: Bug#1018737: /usr/bin/rst2man: rst2man: .TH 5th field
Date: Tue, 6 Sep 2022 16:30:07 -0500

Hi Doug,

At 2022-09-06T17:06:14-0400, Douglas McIlroy wrote:
[I wrote:]
> > A man page author at anything less than master level might wonder,
> > when composing and test-rendering a section 7 page, why they have to
> > supply text in this case but not any other
> I apparently weigh in far below master level.

I wouldn't say _that_...

> I didn't realize there was a default per section.

There wasn't in 7th edition, while there were defaults for other

> But seeing them laid out, I observe that the word "Manual" is
> redundant in all of them.

That's a fair point.

> The word seems to have been expunged (or never introduced) in Linux.

I can't speak for other projects, but groff's man(7) implementation has
had substantially these strings, with the terminal word "Manual", since

Apparently, the defaults were modeled on mdoc(7).

commit 53f513850a96953bc545fe1f37a33257fb48731d
Author: Werner LEMBERG <>
Date:   Thu Dec 1 07:58:37 2011 +0000

    [man] Print volume headers like mdoc.
    * tmac/an-old.tmac (an-init): Add default volume name if fifth
    argument to `.TH' is missing.

> Incidentally, "Miscellaneous Information" says in 9 syllables what
> "Miscellany" says in 4.

Another fair point.  It also would help to teach people that the term
"miscellaneous" has a noun decelension.  I'm open to revising these


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