Re: man pages and tbl

Some time ago I was investigating the internal viewer code which
deals with man pages. I asked myself the same question and if I
remember correctly I found that invoking "tbl" is not necessary
since most processors already invoke it or something

As far as I know, `nroff' (which is used in mc.ext) *never* calls a
preprocessor by its own.  It would behave differently to the `troff'
binary which is not intended here.

I recall some comment to the effect that one or more of the *BSD's
(such as OpenBSD) do not invoke tbl automatically.

There is this other thing too ... The man page may require more
processors than just tbl to properly format the output.  Solaris man
pages are example of that - they contain tables at the end which are
not properly processed by MC.

Perhaps you aren't aware how man pages have to look to get a
preprocessor invoked automatically.  From groff_man(7):

  If a preprocessor like tbl or eqn is needed, it has become usage to
  make the first line of the man page look like this:

    .\" word

  Note the single space character after the double quote.  word
  consists of letters for the needed preprocessors: `e' for eqn, `r'
  for refer, and `t' for tbl.  Modern implementations of the man
  program read this first line and automatically call the right

Thus my suggestion to directly call `man' instead of `nroff'.


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