[ntp:questions] Re: Latest changes toTWikiGettingStarted

Frederick Bruckman fredb at immanent.net
Tue Oct 7 04:39:32 UTC 2003

In article <blsv8s$snn$1 at dewey.udel.edu>,
	stenn at maccarony.ntp.org (Harlan Stenn) writes:
> At one time the html2man script worked; I haven't tried it in a while.
> The original author said that it needed some tweaks, but I have
> no record of these things anymore as those notes were in the recent year
> of email that got lost.

It's terribly out of date. Even after you make the obvious
corrections for the filename changes, and correct for the extra
white space -- extra newlines are needed in the output to make
the "." escapes appear in column one -- the result doesn't look
at all good in "nroff".

There seems to me to be a fundamental problem with the concept.
Man pages, and the SYNOPSIS section in particular, require a very
rigid structure, which is not evident from the html. How do you know
if a dash is supposed to be an ".Fl" macro for a command line option,
or something else? True "nroff" pages contain a lot of information
that is simply lost on conversion to text, html, or postcript. You
can't put the toothpaste back into the tube.

Not that I blame Dave for not wanting to write in "roff". I don't
know the answer. For NetBSD, it's clear enough that many of our
users want man pages, so it's therefore an issue. We're hoping
for an ancient hero to rise up and accept the task of conversion.
What'll probably happen is, one of the 'BSD's will do it first,
and then everyone else will import from them.
> I'll rephrase one of my previous comments: I am also fighting to keep
> the distribution size down.


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