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PolyglotMan(1)              General Commands Manual             PolyglotMan(1)

       PolyglotMan,  rman - reverse compile man pages from formatted form to a
       number of source formats

       rman [ options ] [ file ]

       Up-to-date instructions  can  be  found  at  http://polyglotman.source‐

       PolyglotMan   takes  man pages from most of the popular flavors of UNIX
       and transforms them into any of a number of text source formats.  Poly‐
       glotMan  was  formerly  known  as RosettaMan. The name of the binary is
       still called rman , for scripts that depend on that name; mnemonically,
       just  think "reverse man". Previously PolyglotMan  required pages to be
       formatted by nroff prior  to  its  processing.  With  version  3.0,  it
       prefers  [tn]roff  source  and usually produces results that are better
       yet. And source processing is the only way to translate tables.  Source
       format  translation is not as mature as formatted, however, so try for‐
       matted translation as a backup.

       In parsing [tn]roff source, one could implement  an  arbitrarily  large
       subset of [tn]roff, which I did not and will not do, so the results can
       be off. I did implement a significant subset of those use in man pages,
       however, including tbl (but not eqn), if tests, and general macro defi‐
       nitions, so usually the results look great. If they don't,  format  the
       page  with  nroff  before  sending  it  to  PolyglotMan. If PolyglotMan
       doesn't recognize a key macro used by a large class of pages,  however,
       e-mail  me the source and a uuencoded nroff-formatted page and I'll see
       what I can do. When running  PolyglotMan  with  man  page  source  that
       includes or redirects to other [tn]roff source using the .so (source or
       inclusion) macro, you should be in the parent directory  of  the  page,
       since  pages  are written with this assumption. For example, if you are
       translating /usr/man/man1/ls.1, first cd into /usr/man.

       PolyglotMan  accepts man  pages  from:  SunOS,  Sun  Solaris,  Hewlett-
       Packard  HP-UX,  AT&T System V, OSF/1 aka Digital UNIX, DEC Ultrix, SGI
       IRIX, Linux, FreeBSD, SCO. Source  processing  works  for:  SunOS,  Sun
       Solaris,  Hewlett-Packard HP-UX, AT&T System V, OSF/1 aka Digital UNIX,
       DEC Ultrix. It can produce  printable  ASCII-only  (control  characters
       stripped),  section  headers-only, Tk, TkMan, [tn]roff (traditional man
       page source), SGML, HTML, MIME, LaTeX, LaTeX2e, RTF, Perl 5 POD. A mod‐
       ular architecture permits easy addition of additional output formats.

       The  latest  version  of PolyglotMan is available from http://polyglot‐
       man.sourceforge.net/ .

       The following options should not be used with any others and exit Poly‐
       glotMan without processing any input.

       -h|--help      Show list of command line options and exit.

       -v|--version   Show version number and exit.

       You  should  specify the filter first, as this sets a number of parame‐
       ters, and then specify other options.

       -f|--filter                                   <ASCII|roff|TkMan|Tk|Sec‐
                      Set the output filter. Defaults to ASCII.

       -S|--source    PolyglotMan tries to automatically determine whether its
                      input is source or formatted; use this option to declare
                      source input.

                      PolyglotMan tries to automatically determine whether its
                      input is source or formatted; use this option to declare
                      formatted input.

       -l|--title printf-string
                      In  HTML  mode  this  sets the <TITLE> of the man pages,
                      given the same parameters as -r .

       -r|--reference|--manref printf-string
                      In HTML and SGML modes this sets the URL form  by  which
                      to retrieve other man pages. The string can use two sup‐
                      plied parameters: the man page  name  and  its  section.
                      (See  the  Examples section.)  If the string is null (as
                      if set from a shell by "-r ''"), `-' or `off', then  man
                      page  references will not be HREFs, just set in italics.
                      If your printf supports XPG3 positions  specifier,  this
                      can be quite flexible.

       -V|--volumes <colon-separated list>
                      Set  the  list  of  valid  volumes to check against when
                      looking  for  cross-references  to  other   man   pages.
                      Defaults  to 1:2:3:4:5:6:7:8:9:o:l:n:p (volume names can
                      be multicharacter). If an non-whitespace string  in  the
                      page is immediately followed by a left parenthesis, then
                      one of the valid volumes, and ends with  optional  other
                      characters  and  then  a  right  parenthesis--then  that
                      string is reported as  a  reference  to  another  manual
                      page. If this -V string starts with an equals sign, then
                      no optional characters are allowed between the match  to
                      the  list  of  valids  and  the right parenthesis. (This
                      option is needed for SCO UNIX.)

       The following options apply only when  formatted  pages  are  given  as
       input.  They  do  not  apply  or  are always handled correctly with the

                      Try to recognize subsection titles in addition  to  sec‐
                      tion  titles.  This can cause problems on some UNIX fla‐

       -K|--nobreak   Indicate manual pages don't have page breaks,  so  don't
                      look  for  footers and headers around them. (Older nroff
                      -man macros always put in page breaks, but  lately  some
                      vendors  have  realized  that  printout are made through
                      troff, whereas nroff -man is used to  format  pages  for
                      reading  on screen, and so have eliminated page breaks.)
                      PolyglotMan  usually gets this right even  without  this

       -k|--keep      Keep  headers  and footers, as a canonical report at the
                      end of the page. changeleft  Move  changebars,  such  as
                      those found in the Tcl/Tk manual pages, to the left. -->
                      notaggressive  Disable   aggressive  man  page  parsing.
                      Aggressive  manual, which is on by default, page parsing
                      elides headers  and  footers,  identifies  sections  and
                      more. -->

       -n|--name name Set name of man page (used in roff format). If the file‐
                      name is given in the form " name . section ",  the  name
                      and section are automatically determined. If the page is
                      being parsed from [tn]roff source and it has a .TH line,
                      this information is extracted from that line.

       -p|--paragraph paragraph  mode  toggle.  The  filter determines whether
                      lines should be linebroken as they  were  by  nroff,  or
                      whether lines should be flowed together into paragraphs.
                      Mainly for internal use.

       -s|section #   Set volume (aka section) number of  man  page  (used  in
                      roff  format).  tables Turn on aggressive table parsing.

       -t|--tabstops #
                      For those macros sets that use tabs in place  of  spaces
                      where  possible in order to reduce the number of charac‐
                      ters used, set tabstops every #  columns. Defaults to 8.

       Some flavors of UNIX ship man  page  without  [tn]roff  source,  making
       one's laser printer little more than a laser-powered daisy wheel.  This
       filer tries to intuit the original [tn]roff directives, which can  then
       be recompiled by [tn]roff.

       TkMan, a hypertext man page browser, uses PolyglotMan to show man pages
       without the (usually) useless headers and footers  on  each  pages.  It
       also  collects  section  and  (optionally)  subsection heads for direct
       access from a pulldown menu. TkMan and Tcl/Tk,  the  toolkit  in  which
       it's    written,    are    available    via    anonymous    ftp    from

       This option outputs the text in a series of  Tcl  lists  consisting  of
       text-tags pairs, where tag names roughly correspond to HTML.  This out‐
       put can be inserted into a Tk text widget by doing an eval <textwidget>
       insert end <text> . This format should be relatively easily parsible by
       other programs that want both the text and the tags. Also see ASCII.

       When printed on a line printer, man pages try to produce  special  text
       effects  by  overstriking  characters with themselves (to produce bold)
       and underscores (underlining). Other text processing software, such  as
       text  editors, searchers, and indexers, must counteract this. The ASCII
       filter strips away this formatting. Piping nroff output through col  -b
       also  strips  away this formatting, but it leaves behind unsightly page
       headers and footers. Also see Tk.

       Dumps section and (optionally) subsection titles. This might be  useful
       for another program that processes man pages.

       With  a  simple  extention  to an HTTP server for Mosaic or other World
       Wide Web browser, PolyglotMan  can produce high  quality  HTML  on  the
       fly.  Several  such  extensions  and  pointers  to  several  others are
       included in PolyglotMan 's contrib  directory.

       This is appoaching the Docbook DTD, but I'm hoping  that  someone  that
       someone  with  a  real interest in this will polish the tags generated.
       Try it to see how close the tags are now.

       MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) as defined  by  RFC  1563,
       good  for  consumption  by  MIME-aware  e-mailers or as Emacs (>=19.29)
       enriched documents.

   LaTeX and LaTeX2e
       Why not?

       Use output on Mac or NeXT or whatever. Maybe take random man pages  and
       integrate  with NeXT's documentation system better.  Maybe NeXT has own
       man page macros that do this.

   PostScript and FrameMaker
       To produce PostScript, use groff  or psroff  .  To  produce  FrameMaker
       MIF,  use  FrameMaker's builtin filter. In both cases you need [tn]roff
       source, so if you only have a formatted version of the manual page, use
       PolyglotMan 's roff filter first.

       To  convert  the  formatted   man  page  named ls.1  back into [tn]roff
       source form:

       rman -f roff /usr/local/man/cat1/ls.1 > /usr/local/man/man1/ls.1

       Long man pages are often compressed to conserve space  (compression  is
       especially  effective  on formatted man pages as many of the characters
       are spaces). As it is a long man page,  it  probably  has  subsections,
       which we try to separate out (some macro sets don't distinguish subsec‐
       tions well enough for PolyglotMan to detect them). Let's  convert  this
       to LaTeX format:

       pcat  /usr/catman/a_man/cat1/automount.z | rman -b -n automount -s 1 -f
       latex > automount.man

       Alternatively, man 1 automount | rman -b -n automount -s 1 -f  latex  >

       For  HTML/Mosaic  users,  PolyglotMan  can, without modification of the
       source code, produce HTML links that point  to  other  HTML  man  pages
       either pregenerated or generated on the fly. First let's assume pregen‐
       erated HTML versions of man pages stored in /usr/man/html  .   Generate
       these one-by-one with the following form:
       rman  -f  html  -r 'http:/usr/man/html/%s.%s.html' /usr/man/cat1/ls.1 >

       If you've extended your HTML client to generate HTML  on  the  fly  you
       should use something like:
       rman -f html -r 'http:~/bin/man2html?%s:%s' /usr/man/cat1/ls.1
       when generating HTML.

       PolyglotMan   is  not  perfect in all cases, but it usually does a good
       job, and in any case reduces the problem of  converting  man  pages  to
       light editing.

       Tables  in formatted pages, especially H-P's, aren't handled very well.
       Be sure to pass in source for the page to recognize tables.

       The man pager woman  applies its own idea of formatting for man  pages,
       which  can confuse PolyglotMan . Bypass woman  by passing the formatted
       manual page text directly into PolyglotMan .

       The [tn]roff output format uses fB to turn on boldface. If  your  macro
       set requires .B, you'll have to a postprocess the PolyglotMan output.

       tkman(1)  , xman(1) , man(1) , man(7) or man(5)  depending on your fla‐
       vor of UNIX

       by Thomas A. Phelps ( phelps@ACM.org )
       developed at the
       University of California, Berkeley
       Computer Science Division

       Manual page last updated on $Date: 1998/07/13 09:47:28 $

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