Bug #1216

long lines in man pages

Added by Gordon Ross over 8 years ago. Updated over 5 years ago.

Start date:
Due date:
% Done:


Estimated time:


The long lines in man pages are annoying. In particular, they make webrevs that include man page fixes not usable in "sdiff" view. Here's an example:

Mostly this is the CDDL header, which has the same wording we see on most sources, but spread out with one sencence per line. (Did I say annoying?:)

We should just wholesale convert the man page sources to have the canonical
line breaks in the CDDL so they will look just like the other CDDL sources.

Related issues

Related to illumos gate - Bug #9103: opengroup acknowledgement should be properly formatted in man pagesClosed2018-02-13




Updated by Yuri Pankov over 8 years ago

Is it ok to just copy/paste (scripted, where it's possible) the CDDL license text (not touching copyright stuff, of course) or should every file be edited manually?


Updated by Gordon Ross over 8 years ago

I believe Rich Lowe has an automated way to do this.
(I already set him as a "watcher" of this:)


Updated by Rich Lowe over 8 years ago

When I wrote the code to fix the pages, Garrett was very much against flowing either the license or Sun copyright on any page.

It would be trivial to script this correctly, but you should run it by Garrett to avoid wasting effort.


Updated by Yuri Pankov about 8 years ago

Garrett, I want to do this as part of another issue (#1502), so the question is... should it be done at all?


Updated by Gordon Ross about 8 years ago

I believe there was concern about whether reformatting the CDDL text might somehow have legal effect. I asked a lawyer friend about this and was told that line breaks and format have no bearing on a document's legal interpretation except for references to specific clauses which are generally paragraphs, and certain consumer-protection rules about minimum sizes for small print. Hope that helps.


Updated by Yuri Pankov about 8 years ago

Thanks Gordon, though your answer made the issue even more cryptic for me :-)


Updated by Garrett D'Amore over 5 years ago

To be clear, I'm convinced that reflowing license text is fine. We do need to be careful to preserve any whitespace associated with paragraph boundaries though.

I'd like to see this move forward, especially Yuri's other changes to switch to mdocml. Having the ability to use mdoc in man pages would be a huge boon.


Updated by Yuri Pankov almost 2 years ago

  • Related to Bug #9103: opengroup acknowledgement should be properly formatted in man pages added

Also available in: Atom PDF