[lxc-devel] Putting man pages on website?

Daniel Lezcano daniel.lezcano at free.fr
Tue Feb 15 14:47:39 UTC 2011

On 02/15/2011 03:37 PM, Rob Landley wrote:
> On 02/15/2011 04:29 AM, Daniel Lezcano wrote:
>>>> PS: the extension ought to be .xml, not .sgml, and I recommend you
>>>> switch from Emacs' sgml-mode to nxml-mode, which is the default for .xml
>>>> files in recent GNU Emacs releases.
>>> I'd rather not get any emacs on me.
>>> But this should be enough to put something on the website.  Thanks.
>> Won't be easier man2html ?
> No.  Converting a modernish human readable angle bracket delimited
> format into another modernish human readable angle bracket delimited
> format is a lot easier and more reliable than producing a typesetting
> language for daisy wheel printers from the 1970's and then running a
> pile of regex heuristics to try to parse it back.  Under the covers
> that's a bit like running it through babelfish twice.
> Years ago I helped debug Doclifter, which is a gigantic pile of
> heuristics and attempts at AI to translate man pages into docbook,
> badly.  It's written in python.  Here's a description of _some_ of the
> heuristics it uses:
>    http://www.catb.org/~esr/doclifter/doclifter.html
> The purpose of that package (and the reason you don't really hear about
> it anymore) was to let people do a one time conversion, to stop
> maintaining troff sources and instead convert to something anybody under
> the age of 50 still understood.  Lots of packages did such one time
> conversions a decade ago, and ever since they've maintained their man
> pages in a source format _other_ than troff macros.
> The package you suggested is essentially a pile of perl regexes to do
> something similar, only less thorough and targeting HTML directly
> instead of docbook (from which you can also produce a PDF).  It has
> similar problems parsing the horrors of troff:
>    http://trac.osgeo.org/grass/ticket/612
> Both are dealing with an easier problem these days because nobody really
> maintains troff and all those macro packages as a source format anymore,
> so it's all generated from other source formats by programs like pod2man
> with recognizable idiosyncrasies that don't exercise all the corner
> cases of the ancient dead macro languages.  (This wasn't true when
> doclifter was written, but a decade's a long time on the internet...)

Ok, fair enough :)

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