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[perl #134093] Pod::Perldoc 3.2801 no longer includes the 'term'formatter class by default

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Karl Williamson via RT
May 9, 2019 22:31
[perl #134093] Pod::Perldoc 3.2801 no longer includes the 'term'formatter class by default
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On Thu, 09 May 2019 09:37:10 -0700, wrote:
> This is a bug report for perl from,
> generated with the help of perlbug 1.41 running under perl 5.28.1.
> -----------------------------------------------------------------
> [Please describe your issue here]
> Pod::Perldoc 3.28 is the latest on CPAN, but 3.2801 is released
> with the core.  This "upgrade" contains a regression..
> Prior to 3.2801 (corelist says this was released with 5.27.5),
> perldoc would use terminal escape sequences to interpret Pod
> formatting in most environments.  (The exceptions being windows,
> dos, (amiga), or terminal type dumb, emacs, none, or unknown)
> With 3.2801, users of perldoc now see a text rendition of pod,
> even when their terminal is capable of highlighting.  This is
> a regression.  (I'm only noticing it now due to being late
> upgrading Perl.)
> The code change that caused this is in

The change was intentional, and due to issues with the highlighting

 commit f2ee4cb897ec9dd3338abcd0e9a42cb41ce9a173
 Author: Zefram <>
 Date:   Sat Oct 7 05:17:19 2017 +0100
     customise Pod::Perldoc to fix output misbehaviour
     Pod::Perldoc has, since version 3.20, exhibited various kinds of
     misbehaviour relating to a bad default choice of formatter.  Output has
     sometimes appeared mangled due to the newly-default formatter emitting
     unportable escape sequences, and sometimes there has been a more
     severe output failure due to perldoc making unportable changes to pager
     configuration in an attempt to make the escape sequences work.  This is
     discussed in [perl #131762].  In the upstream instance of the module
     there have been tweaks to the unportable behaviour, but not an actual fix.
     In order to make the core distro ship a reliably-working version of
     perldoc, this patch customises Pod::Perldoc to implement the obvious
     fix for the portability problems.  The fixed version defaults to the
     ToText formatter, which produces properly plain text that will go through
     any pager.  It never attempts any change to pager configuration.
Thus the blead version opts to output plain text which is viewable everywhere because there were problems on some devices with highlighting.

I doubt that we will revert this commit unless the issues in [perl #131762] get fixed first.

Karl Williamson

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