Message info
To:Iustin Pop From:Russ Allbery Subject:Bug#664471: false positive for hyphen-used-as-minus-sign Date:Sun, 18 Mar 2012 09:07:43 -0700

Iustin Pop <> writes:
> On Sat, Mar 17, 2012 at 06:07:24PM -0700, Russ Allbery wrote:

>> That's because Debian applies a local override to the *roff macros to
>> force all hyphens to be US-ASCII. But we would really like to be able
>> to remove that override at some point, since hyphens produce nicer
>> output and we'd rather not continue to carry the divergence from
>> upstream.

> Ah. So, if I understand correctly, lintian doesn't warn for most hyphens
> since it "knows" that Debian's *roff will anyway show them as minus
> signs, but its regex "missed" this particular case due to the font
> change?

Sort of. Lintian warns for every hyphen that it can find that it thinks
should be a US-ASCII dash, but the only place where it's confident enough
to check for that is where it's pretty sure that the man page is talking
about an option switch. So it looks for leading whitespace before the
hyphen and a pattern that looks like it's an option switch.

Here, the font change meant there was no leading whitespace, which is why
it missed the first few dashes.

Note that regular English text hyphens, such as the one in US-ASCII,
should stay unescaped, since those actually should become Unicode hyphens.

Russ Allbery ( <>

To UNSUBSCRIBE, email to
with a subject of "unsubscribe". Trouble? Contact