[BusyBox] man for busybox

Rob Landley rob at landley.net
Mon Jun 13 06:47:42 UTC 2005


On Tuesday 07 June 2005 04:13 pm, Jason Schoon wrote:
> Although not useful to me personally on my small embedded system, this
> seems like a worthwhile addition to me. I wonder what amount of code would
> be needed to make it an applet, rather than a shell script. If it was
> relatively small, I think it would be nice to have a man-replacement
> available in the multi-call binary.

Technically speaking a new man could just be 
zcat /usr/man/some_compressed_file.gz | less

The hard part is the build-time bit, converting troff crap (and huge troff 
macro packages) into a sane modern format.  I've looked at doclifter as 
something to do this (it can convert web pages to html, for display with less 
or lynx or something), but unfortunately it has build-time dependencies I've 
never bothered to resolve.  (It requires me to track down and install other 
packages that aren't on knoppix.  Maybe 3.9 will have them...)

If we could get doclifter working (it does a one-time conversion from of man 
pages into docbook), then the sane format to produce from the docbook is 
html.  Then what we'd want is a miniature text web page viewer, ala a 
stripped down lynx...

But yeah, man page support would be really cool.

Rob



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