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The case of double characters when printing man pages
By Thom Holwerda on 2017-08-09 21:50:10

In what's never going to be a regular occurance, I'm linking to a Twitter thread. Chris Espinosa tweets:

Just as I was wrapping up an email and getting ready to leave work, a co-worker rolled his chair over to show me an "interesting" thing.

Go ahead, read it.

UNIX, man. Not even once.

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Read Comments: 1-10 -- 11-20 -- 21-30 -- 31-34
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Comment by Licaon_Kter
By Licaon_Kter on 2017-08-09 22:34:50
The zeitgeist is that the last 2 tweets are about Trump though...
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UNIX showing its age again...
By Morgan on 2017-08-09 22:35:42
That was a fun, if not entirely surprising read. Having worked as a teletype operator right out of high school (yes, the actual teletype machines with green screens and line printers), this was where I expected it to go.

God I love UNIX.
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RE: Comment by Licaon_Kter
By Bill Shooter of Bul on 2017-08-09 22:51:51
Lo and behold! The Unix wizards at Bell labs foretold in ancient man files of the great baboon sent here to punish in the days when the sun would be eaten by the Night God Naztuli
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Comment by Drumhellar
By Drumhellar on 2017-08-09 23:15:07
What OS is was he using? I'm guessing macOS, since he's referring to "Terminal", rather than "the terminal", or xterm, gnome-terminal, etc etc.

And if that's the case, well, which new features of macOS has documentation that exists only as a man page?

That's the real question.
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Capabilities
By uridium on 2017-08-10 00:56:00
Check your termcap if it has LA36 or LA180 definitions, it'll be an interesting read.

Also the caps makes it easier to parse with DEC runoff which is nice for those of us with VT terminals still attached to our VAX and pdp-11's.
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RE: Comment by Drumhellar
By judgen on 2017-08-10 01:24:53
Or maybe IRIX, BeOS, Haiku, Syllable, AtheOS or perhaps SkyOS. :-P

Edited 2017-08-10 01:25 UTC
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RE: Comment by Drumhellar
By rjamorim on 2017-08-10 01:37:09
> I'm guessing macOS, since he's referring to "Terminal"

I'm guessing macOS because we're talking about Chris Espinosa:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chr...
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RE: Capabilities
By acobar on 2017-08-10 02:49:01
You must be kidding you still have a working PDP-11, right? It was one of the first computers I had access on my uni, like ~33 years ago!

On a side note, I'm not surprise at all things like "double characters" and many other ancient capabilities are still around. On Unix world it used to be "if it is not broken ..".

Many of us that connect remotely to fix/check things still prefer to use "character" terminals for fast and practical reasons and in this world esc, \b, \r and other special chars and sequences are still king, and fun to play with. :)
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RE: UNIX showing its age again...
By Doc Pain on 2017-08-10 05:00:04
> That was a fun, if not entirely surprising read.

Luckily, there are convenient ways to automatically transform manpages into pure ASCII text (no more highlighting, reverse, underlining) or to PDF, especially because PDF is a very popular document exchange format.

For illustration purposes:

% zcat /usr/share/man/man2/open.2. gz | groff -Tps -dpaper=a4 -P-pa4 -mandoc | ps2pdf - open.2.pdf

Of course, as we're talking about UNIX here, it's easy to create a "wrapper" around that mechanism so you can simply write something like

% man2pdf 2 open

and the script replies with

/tmp/open.2.pdf

which you can select and copy into your e-mail "attach file" dialog. Send the file, and the reader will benefit from a pleasantly formatted text document. Oh, and the recipient can print it, because people love printing stuff. ;-)

Adding a PDF (pre)viewer into the mix is trivial.

Of course if you only want to copy parts from a manpage, simply select the text with the left mouse button inside the terminal, switch over to your mail composing window, press the middle mouse button (or wheel, or left+right button, depending on your mouse's capabilities) to simply paste the text.

No "double-printed" characters.

(NB: "the terminal", generic term, not "Terminal", because due to technology advancement, this might not work anymore.)

> Having worked as a teletype operator right out of high school (yes, the actual teletype machines with green screens and line printers), this was where I expected it to go.

When I read "actual teletype", I imagine a real teletype like the T-51, the F1200 or F2000 built by RFT. Non-german persons probably know the famous Model 33 / ASR-33 as one of the first means to interact with UNIX computers. No fancy screen, and very limited output speed.

Rattattattattattattatt - ding!

> God I love UNIX.

You have to, because it runs the Internet. :-)
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RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
By Drumhellar on 2017-08-10 05:07:27
And none of those have any new features.

Except maybe Haiku.
Permalink - Score: 2

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