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Man Page for PERLPOD

     pod - plain old documentation

     A pod-to-whatever translator reads a pod file paragraph by
     paragraph, and translates it to the appropriate output
     format.  There are three kinds of paragraphs:

     +   A verbatim paragraph, distinguished by being indented
         (that is, it starts with space or tab).  It should be
         reproduced exactly, with tabs assumed to be on 8-column
         boundaries.  There are no special formatting escapes, so
         you can't italicize or anything like that.  A  means
         and nothing else.

     +   A command.  All command paragraphs start with "=",
         followed by an identifier, followed by arbitrary text
         that the command can use however it pleases.  Currently
         recognized commands are

             =head1 heading
             =head2 heading
             =item text
             =over N

     +   An ordinary block of text.  It will be filled, and maybe
         even justified.  Certain interior sequences are
         recognized both here and in commands:

             I<text>     italicize text,  used for emphasis or
             B<text>     embolden  text,  used for switches and
             S<text>     text contains non-breaking spaces
             C<code>     literal code
             L<name>     A link (cross reference) to name
                             L<name>             manpage
                             L<name/ident>       item in manpage
                             L<name/"sec">       section in other manpage
                             L<"sec">            section in this manpage
                                                 (the quotes are optional)
             F<file>     Used for filenames
             Z<>         A zero-width character

         That's it.  The intent is simplicity, not power.  I
         wanted paragraphs to look like paragraphs (block
         format), so that they stand out visually, and so that I
         could run them through fmt easily to reformat them
         (that's F7 in my version of vi).  I wanted the
         translator (and not me) to worry about whether " or ' is
         a left quote or a right quote within filled text, and I
         wanted it to leave the quotes alone dammit in verbatim
         mode, so I could slurp in a working program, shift it
         over 4 spaces, and have it print out, er, verbatim.  And
         presumably in a constant width font.

         In particular, you can leave things like this verbatim
         in your text:


         Doubtless a few other commands or sequences will need to
         be added along the way, but I've gotten along
         surprisingly well with just these.

         Note that I'm not at all claiming this to be sufficient
         for producing a book.  I'm just trying to make an
         idiot-proof common source for nroff, TeX, and other
         markup languages, as used for online documentation.
         Both pod2html and pod2man translators exist.

     Larry Wall

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