Section: User Commands (1)
Updated: 1 January 1998
man2html converts a manual page as found in file (or stdin, in case no file argument, or the argument "-", is given) from man-style nroff into html, and prints the result on stdout. It does support tbl but does not know about eqn. The exit status is 0. If something goes wrong, an error page is printed on stdout.
The main part of man2html is the troff-to-html engine written by Richard Verhoeven (email@example.com). It adds hyperlinks for the following constructs:
<TABLE> <TR VALIGN="top| <TD>(3x)</TD> <TD>"http://localhost/cgi-bin/man/man2html?3x+foo"
</TD> </TR> <TR VALIGN="top| <TD></TD> <TD>""
</TD> </TR> </TABLE>
(The first of these can be tuned by options - see below.) No lookup is done - the links generated need not exist. Also an index with internal hyperlinks to the various sections is generated, so that it is easier to find one's way in large man pages like bash?(1).
When reading from stdin, it is not always clear how to do .so expansion. The -D option allows a script to define the working directory.
The -E option allows the easy generation of error messages from a cgi script.
The general form of a hyperlink generated for a man page reference is
with a default as shown above. The parts of this hyperlink are set using the various options.
On a machine without running httpd, one can use lynx to browse the man pages, using the lynxcgi method. When some http daemon is running, lynx, or any other browser, can be used to browse the man pages, using the http method. The option -l (for `lynxcgi') selects the former behaviour. With it, the default cgipath is /usr/lib.
In general, a cgi script can be called by
and the environment variables PATH_INFO and QUERY_STRING will be set to <more_path> and <query>, respectively. Since lynxcgi does not handle the PATH_INFO part, we generate hyperlinks with `?' as a separator by default. The option -p (for `path') selects '/' as a separator, while the option -q (for `query') selects '?' as a separator.
The option -H host will specify the host to use (instead of localhost). A cgi script could use
if the variable SERVER_NAME is set. This would allow your machine to act as a server and export man pages.
There are many heuristics. The output will not always be perfect. The lynxcgi method will not work if lynx was compiled without selecting support for it. There may be problems with security.
Richard Verhoeven was the original author of man2html. Michael Hamilton and Andries Brouwer subsequently improved on it. Federico Lucifredi <firstname.lastname@example.org> is the current maintainer.
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