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* mandoc-1.14.4 released
@ 2018-08-08 20:21 Ingo Schwarze
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From: Ingo Schwarze @ 2018-08-08 20:21 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: discuss


after a full year of tranquil development, i just released mandoc-1.14.4.
This is a regular maintenance release.  As there are no major structural
changes, i expect it to be very stable, so all downstream systems are
encouraged to upgrade from any earlier version.

As usual, the release is available from


There are two important new features:

 1. In -T ascii output mode, rendering of mathematical symbols
    and Greek letters is decisively improved.  When no unambiguous
    rendering as a single ASCII character is possible, symbols are
    now rendered as strings describing the meaning of the symbol.
    Here is an example from the lgamma(3) manual page:

    <Gamma>(x) = <integral>_0^<infinity> t^(x - 1) e^(-t) dt  for x > 0 and
    <Gamma>(x) = <pi>/(<Gamma>(1 - x) sin(<pi> x))            for x < 1

    Traditionally, ASCII rendering (mostly unsuccessfully) attempted
    to imitate the graphical shape of the symbols, which caused
    generally unintelligible results.
    An equivalent change was also performed in groff-current, is
    already patched into the OpenBSD groff port, and will be contained
    in the upcoming groff-1.22.4 release.  Consequently, in pages
    where unusually complicated mathematical formulae constitute
    the crucial content, full eqn(7) formatting can now be used.
    Of course, please still refrain from gratuitiously employing
    character escape sequences merely because an isolated symbol
    appears somewhere in a normal manual page - such cases are
    usually better handled by simply expressing the content in
    normal English words and sentences.

 2. Mandoc HTML/CSS output, and hence man.cgi(8) presentation
    on the web, is now significantly better in many respects.
    In particular, first steps were taken towards better usability
    on small screen and mobile devices (responsive design):
    There are no more style= attributes containing fixed dimensions,
    but all indentations and distances are controlled by CSS, and
    the default style sheet uses a @media directive for adapting
    to the available space.  In several cases, the choice of HTML
    elements was improved, several HTML syntax violations were
    fixed, and the overall quality of the default CSS sytlesheet
    was improved in many respects.
    Almost all of these improvements were only possible due to
    sustained and detailed feedback from John Gardner, see
    https://github.com/Alhadis/, who taught me a lot about
    HTML and CSS.  Many thanks for that invaluable help!

Minor new features include:

 * When a man(1) argument contains a slash, imply -l like in man-db.
 * Use TIOCGWINSZ to reduce the default -Owidth and -Oindent during
   interactive use on terminals narrower than 79 columns.
 * Generated PostScript files are now more than 50% smaller.
   Thanks to Marc Espie for developing and committing that patch!
 * Terminal rendering of eqn(7) is improved in several respects.
 * Simplified and nicer output from the mdoc(7) .Lk macro, formatting
   all links in-line, even long ones.
 * roff(7) \n+ and \n- numerical register auto-increment and -decrement
 * roff(7) .nr optional third argument (auto-increment step size)
 * Many bug fixes.

For more details, see:


For doing a manual installation or setting up a packaging system,
please have a look at the INSTALL file in the tarball:


The release was tested on the following systems:
 * OpenBSD -current and -stable
 * NetBSD -current
 * Debian Linux -current and -oldstable
 * Void Linux glibc and musl
 * illumos
 * SunOS 5.11.2, 5.10, and 5.9

As usual, many thanks to the various developers who provided patches,
bug reports, advice, suggestions, and release testing!  For a full
list of contributors to this release, see:


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