pod2man



POD2MAN(1)             Perl Programmers Reference Guide             POD2MAN(1)




NAME

       pod2man - Convert POD data to formatted *roff input


SYNOPSIS

       pod2man [--section=manext] [--release=version] [--center=string]
       [--date=string] [--fixed=font] [--fixedbold=font] [--fixeditalic=font]
       [--fixedbolditalic=font] [--name=name] [--official] [--lax]
       [--quotes=quotes] [--verbose] [input [output] ...]

       pod2man --help


DESCRIPTION

       pod2man is a front-end for Pod::Man, using it to generate *roff input
       from POD source.  The resulting *roff code is suitable for display on a
       terminal using nroff(1), normally via man(1), or printing using
       troff(1).

       input is the file to read for POD source (the POD can be embedded in
       code).  If input isn’t given, it defaults to STDIN.  output, if given,
       is the file to which to write the formatted output.  If output isn’t
       given, the formatted output is written to STDOUT.  Several POD files
       can be processed in the same pod2man invocation (saving module load and
       compile times) by providing multiple pairs of input and output files on
       the command line.

       --section, --release, --center, --date, and --official can be used to
       set the headers and footers to use; if not given, Pod::Man will assume
       various defaults.  See below or Pod::Man for details.

       pod2man assumes that your *roff formatters have a fixed-width font
       named CW.  If yours is called something else (like CR), use --fixed to
       specify it.  This generally only matters for troff output for printing.
       Similarly, you can set the fonts used for bold, italic, and bold italic
       fixed-width output.

       Besides the obvious pod conversions, Pod::Man, and therefore pod2man
       also takes care of formatting func(), func(n), and simple variable ref-
       erences like $foo or @bar so you don’t have to use code escapes for
       them; complex expressions like $fred{’stuff’} will still need to be
       escaped, though.  It also translates dashes that aren’t used as hyphens
       into en dashes, makes long dashes--like this--into proper em dashes,
       fixes "paired quotes," and takes care of several other troff-specific
       tweaks.  See Pod::Man for complete information.


OPTIONS

       -c string, --center=string
           Sets the centered page header to string.  The default is "User Con-
           tributed Perl Documentation", but also see --official below.

       -d string, --date=string
           Set the left-hand footer string to this value.  By default, the
           modification date of the input file will be used, or the current
           date if input comes from STDIN.

       --fixed=font
           The fixed-width font to use for vertabim text and code.  Defaults
           to CW.  Some systems may want CR instead.  Only matters for
           troff(1) output.

       --fixedbold=font
           Bold version of the fixed-width font.  Defaults to CB.  Only mat-
           ters for troff(1) output.

       --fixeditalic=font
           Italic version of the fixed-width font (actually, something of a
           misnomer, since most fixed-width fonts only have an oblique ver-
           sion, not an italic version).  Defaults to CI.  Only matters for
           troff(1) output.

       --fixedbolditalic=font
           Bold italic (probably actually oblique) version of the fixed-width
           font.  Pod::Man doesn’t assume you have this, and defaults to CB.
           Some systems (such as Solaris) have this font available as CX.
           Only matters for troff(1) output.

       -h, --help
           Print out usage information.

       -l, --lax
           No longer used.  pod2man used to check its input for validity as a
           manual page, but this should now be done by podchecker(1) instead.
           Accepted for backwards compatibility; this option no longer does
           anything.

       -n name, --name=name
           Set the name of the manual page to name.  Without this option, the
           manual name is set to the uppercased base name of the file being
           converted unless the manual section is 3, in which case the path is
           parsed to see if it is a Perl module path.  If it is, a path like
           ".../lib/Pod/Man.pm" is converted into a name like "Pod::Man".
           This option, if given, overrides any automatic determination of the
           name.

           Note that this option is probably not useful when converting multi-
           ple POD files at once.  The convention for Unix man pages for com-
           mands is for the man page title to be in all-uppercase even if the
           command isn’t.

       -o, --official
           Set the default header to indicate that this page is part of the
           standard Perl release, if --center is not also given.

       -q quotes, --quotes=quotes
           Sets the quote marks used to surround C<> text to quotes.  If
           quotes is a single character, it is used as both the left and right
           quote; if quotes is two characters, the first character is used as
           the left quote and the second as the right quoted; and if quotes is
           four characters, the first two are used as the left quote and the
           second two as the right quote.

           quotes may also be set to the special value "none", in which case
           no quote marks are added around C<> text (but the font is still
           changed for troff output).

       -r, --release
           Set the centered footer.  By default, this is the version of Perl
           you run pod2man under.  Note that some system an macro sets assume
           that the centered footer will be a modification date and will
           prepend something like "Last modified: "; if this is the case, you
           may want to set --release to the last modified date and --date to
           the version number.

       -s, --section
           Set the section for the ".TH" macro.  The standard section number-
           ing convention is to use 1 for user commands, 2 for system calls, 3
           for functions, 4 for devices, 5 for file formats, 6 for games, 7
           for miscellaneous information, and 8 for administrator commands.
           There is a lot of variation here, however; some systems (like
           Solaris) use 4 for file formats, 5 for miscellaneous information,
           and 7 for devices.  Still others use 1m instead of 8, or some mix
           of both.  About the only section numbers that are reliably consis-
           tent are 1, 2, and 3.

           By default, section 1 will be used unless the file ends in .pm in
           which case section 3 will be selected.

       -v, --verbose
           Print out the name of each output file as it is being generated.


DIAGNOSTICS

       If pod2man fails with errors, see Pod::Man and Pod::Parser for informa-
       tion about what those errors might mean.


EXAMPLES

           pod2man program > program.1
           pod2man SomeModule.pm /usr/perl/man/man3/SomeModule.3
           pod2man --section=7 note.pod > note.7

       If you would like to print out a lot of man page continuously, you
       probably want to set the C and D registers to set contiguous page num-
       bering and even/odd paging, at least on some versions of man(7).

           troff -man -rC1 -rD1 perl.1 perldata.1 perlsyn.1 ...

       To get index entries on stderr, turn on the F register, as in:

           troff -man -rF1 perl.1

       The indexing merely outputs messages via ".tm" for each major page,
       section, subsection, item, and any "X<>" directives.  See Pod::Man for
       more details.


BUGS

       Lots of this documentation is duplicated from Pod::Man.


NOTES

       For those not sure of the proper layout of a man page, here are some
       notes on writing a proper man page.

       The name of the program being documented is conventionally written in
       bold (using B<>) wherever it occurs, as are all program options.  Argu-
       ments should be written in italics (I<>).  Functions are traditionally
       written in italics; if you write a function as function(), Pod::Man
       will take care of this for you.  Literal code or commands should be in
       C<>.  References to other man pages should be in the form "manpage(sec-
       tion)", and Pod::Man will automatically format those appropriately.  As
       an exception, it’s traditional not to use this form when referring to
       module documentation; use "L<Module::Name>" instead.

       References to other programs or functions are normally in the form of
       man page references so that cross-referencing tools can provide the
       user with links and the like.  It’s possible to overdo this, though, so
       be careful not to clutter your documentation with too much markup.

       The major headers should be set out using a "=head1" directive, and are
       historically written in the rather startling ALL UPPER CASE format,
       although this is not mandatory.  Minor headers may be included using
       "=head2", and are typically in mixed case.

       The standard sections of a manual page are:

       NAME
           Mandatory section; should be a comma-separated list of programs or
           functions documented by this podpage, such as:

               foo, bar - programs to do something

           Manual page indexers are often extremely picky about the format of
           this section, so don’t put anything in it except this line.  A sin-
           gle dash, and only a single dash, should separate the list of pro-
           grams or functions from the description.  Functions should not be
           qualified with "()" or the like.  The description should ideally
           fit on a single line, even if a man program replaces the dash with
           a few tabs.

       SYNOPSIS
           A short usage summary for programs and functions.  This section is
           mandatory for section 3 pages.

       DESCRIPTION
           Extended description and discussion of the program or functions, or
           the body of the documentation for man pages that document something
           else.  If particularly long, it’s a good idea to break this up into
           subsections "=head2" directives like:

               =head2 Normal Usage

               =head2 Advanced Features

               =head2 Writing Configuration Files

           or whatever is appropriate for your documentation.

       OPTIONS
           Detailed description of each of the command-line options taken by
           the program.  This should be separate from the description for the
           use of things like Pod::Usage.  This is normally presented as a
           list, with each option as a separate "=item".  The specific option
           string should be enclosed in B<>.  Any values that the option takes
           should be enclosed in I<>.  For example, the section for the option
           --section=manext would be introduced with:

               =item B<--section>=I<manext>

           Synonymous options (like both the short and long forms) are sepa-
           rated by a comma and a space on the same "=item" line, or option-
           ally listed as their own item with a reference to the canonical
           name.  For example, since --section can also be written as -s, the
           above would be:

               =item B<-s> I<manext>, B<--section>=I<manext>

           (Writing the short option first is arguably easier to read, since
           the long option is long enough to draw the eye to it anyway and the
           short option can otherwise get lost in visual noise.)

       RETURN VALUE
           What the program or function returns, if successful.  This section
           can be omitted for programs whose precise exit codes aren’t impor-
           tant, provided they return 0 on success as is standard.  It should
           always be present for functions.

       ERRORS
           Exceptions, error return codes, exit statuses, and errno settings.
           Typically used for function documentation; program documentation
           uses DIAGNOSTICS instead.  The general rule of thumb is that errors
           printed to STDOUT or STDERR and intended for the end user are docu-
           mented in DIAGNOSTICS while errors passed internal to the calling
           program and intended for other programmers are documented in
           ERRORS.  When documenting a function that sets errno, a full list
           of the possible errno values should be given here.

       DIAGNOSTICS
           All possible messages the program can print out--and what they
           mean.  You may wish to follow the same documentation style as the
           Perl documentation; see perldiag(1) for more details (and look at
           the POD source as well).

           If applicable, please include details on what the user should do to
           correct the error; documenting an error as indicating "the input
           buffer is too small" without telling the user how to increase the
           size of the input buffer (or at least telling them that it isn’t
           possible) aren’t very useful.

       EXAMPLES
           Give some example uses of the program or function.  Don’t skimp;
           users often find this the most useful part of the documentation.
           The examples are generally given as verbatim paragraphs.

           Don’t just present an example without explaining what it does.
           Adding a short paragraph saying what the example will do can
           increase the value of the example immensely.

       ENVIRONMENT
           Environment variables that the program cares about, normally pre-
           sented as a list using "=over", "=item", and "=back".  For example:

               =over 6

               =item HOME

               Used to determine the user’s home directory.  F<.foorc> in this
               directory is read for configuration details, if it exists.

               =back

           Since environment variables are normally in all uppercase, no addi-
           tional special formatting is generally needed; they’re glaring
           enough as it is.

       FILES
           All files used by the program or function, normally presented as a
           list, and what it uses them for.  File names should be enclosed in
           F<>.  It’s particularly important to document files that will be
           potentially modified.

       CAVEATS
           Things to take special care with, sometimes called WARNINGS.

       BUGS
           Things that are broken or just don’t work quite right.

       RESTRICTIONS
           Bugs you don’t plan to fix.  :-)

       NOTES
           Miscellaneous commentary.

       SEE ALSO
           Other man pages to check out, like man(1), man(7), makewhatis(8),
           or catman(8).  Normally a simple list of man pages separated by
           commas, or a paragraph giving the name of a reference work.  Man
           page references, if they use the standard "name(section)" form,
           don’t have to be enclosed in L<> (although it’s recommended), but
           other things in this section probably should be when appropriate.

           If the package has a mailing list, include a URL or subscription
           instructions here.

           If the package has a web site, include a URL here.

       AUTHOR
           Who wrote it (use AUTHORS for multiple people).  Including your
           current e-mail address (or some e-mail address to which bug reports
           should be sent) so that users have a way of contacting you is a
           good idea.  Remember that program documentation tends to roam the
           wild for far longer than you expect and pick an e-mail address
           that’s likely to last if possible.

       COPYRIGHT AND LICENSE
           For copyright

               Copyright YEAR(s) by YOUR NAME(s)

           (No, (C) is not needed.  No, "all rights reserved" is not needed.)

           For licensing the easiest way is to use the same licensing as Perl
           itself:

               This library is free software; you may redistribute it and/or modify
               it under the same terms as Perl itself.

           This makes it easy for people to use your module with Perl.  Note
           that this licensing is neither an endorsement or a requirement, you
           are of course free to choose any licensing.

       HISTORY
           Programs derived from other sources sometimes have this, or you
           might keep a modification log here.  If the log gets overly long or
           detailed, consider maintaining it in a separate file, though.

       In addition, some systems use CONFORMING TO to note conformance to rel-
       evant standards and MT-LEVEL to note safeness for use in threaded pro-
       grams or signal handlers.  These headings are primarily useful when
       documenting parts of a C library.  Documentation of object-oriented
       libraries or modules may use CONSTRUCTORS and METHODS sections for
       detailed documentation of the parts of the library and save the
       DESCRIPTION section for an overview; other large modules may use FUNC-
       TIONS for similar reasons.  Some people use OVERVIEW to summarize the
       description if it’s quite long.

       Section ordering varies, although NAME should always be the first sec-
       tion (you’ll break some man page systems otherwise), and NAME, SYNOP-
       SIS, DESCRIPTION, and OPTIONS generally always occur first and in that
       order if present.  In general, SEE ALSO, AUTHOR, and similar material
       should be left for last.  Some systems also move WARNINGS and NOTES to
       last.  The order given above should be reasonable for most purposes.

       Finally, as a general note, try not to use an excessive amount of
       markup.  As documented here and in Pod::Man, you can safely leave Perl
       variables, function names, man page references, and the like unadorned
       by markup and the POD translators will figure it out for you.  This
       makes it much easier to later edit the documentation.  Note that many
       existing translators (including this one currently) will do the wrong
       thing with e-mail addresses or URLs when wrapped in L<>, so don’t do
       that.

       For additional information that may be more accurate for your specific
       system, see either man(5) or man(7) depending on your system manual
       section numbering conventions.


SEE ALSO

       Pod::Man, Pod::Parser, man(1), nroff(1), podchecker(1), troff(1),
       man(7)

       The man page documenting the an macro set may be man(5) instead of
       man(7) on your system.

       The current version of this script is always available from its web
       site at <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/software/podlators/>.  It is also
       part of the Perl core distribution as of 5.6.0.


AUTHOR

       Russ Allbery <rra@stanford.edu>, based very heavily on the original
       pod2man by Larry Wall and Tom Christiansen.  Large portions of this
       documentation, particularly the sections on the anatomy of a proper man
       page, are taken from the pod2man documentation by Tom.


COPYRIGHT AND LICENSE

       Copyright 1999, 2000, 2001 by Russ Allbery <rra@stanford.edu>.

       This program is free software; you may redistribute it and/or modify it
       under the same terms as Perl itself.



perl v5.8.6                       2005-12-14                        POD2MAN(1)

Man(1) output converted with man2html