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Date: Sat, 26 Aug 2017 09:28:08 -0400
From: Rich Felker <>
To: Colin Watson <>
Cc: "A. Wilcox" <>,,
Subject: Re: Re: man-db Test failures under musl libc

On Sat, Aug 26, 2017 at 01:04:26PM +0100, Colin Watson wrote:
> On Mon, Aug 14, 2017 at 06:43:27PM -0500, A. Wilcox wrote:
> > We are creating a new Linux distribution based on the musl libc focused
> > on security and reliability.  As such, we run test suites for all of our
> > packaged software.  The man-db test suite seems to have numerous
> > failures due to musl's iconv(3) (or more specifically, iconv_open(3))
> > method not supporting //IGNORE suffixes for character sets.
> man-db can't reasonably do without //IGNORE, certainly not if you want
> reliability.  Can you try building man-db with GNU libiconv?  The build
> system uses AM_ICONV already, so should have enough options to let you
> do this.
> (I'd take a patch to the build system to have it detect this situation
> and emit an error earlier if //IGNORE isn't available.)

Can you explain? This seems wrong; maybe I misunderstand //IGNORE but
I can't come up with any plausible scenario where a conversion with
//IGNORE would produce usable output.

Also please be aware that the encoding on a system using musl is
always UTF-8 (musl only supports UTF-8 locales), so conversion of
man pages to another locale that can't represent their contents is
out-of-scope. I'm not sure if //IGNORE would be useful for this anyway
(I couldn't figure out from the failed tests what the intent was) but
I mention it because it may be related.


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