[Bug 223522] `whatis .’ returns random results

From: <bugzilla-noreply_at_freebsd.org>
Date: Fri, 31 Dec 2021 07:46:00 UTC
https://bugs.freebsd.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=223522

Dakotah Lambert <vvulpes0@gmail.com> changed:

           What    |Removed                     |Added
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 CC|                            |vvulpes0@gmail.com

--- Comment #4 from Dakotah Lambert <vvulpes0@gmail.com> ---
apropos (and by extension whatis) uses (case-insensitive, extended) regular
expressions in all instances. In all reported instances, the “.” has matched a
“word” containing a single character, as confirmed by

    $ printf '%s\n' word-to-test | grep -o '\<.\>'

The results are as follows:

    c  c++filt
    w  w
    2  config.guess-2.69
    2  config.sub-2.69
    2  ifname-2.69
    a  a.out
    1  ld-elf.so.1
    2  gittutorial-2

Note also:

    $ whatis '[a]'
    a.out(5) - format of executable binary files

In order to search for a manpage entitled “.” alone, you would search

    $ whatis '[.]'
    whatis: nothing appropriate

To confirm:

    $ whatis . | wc -l
    17
    $ whatis . | grep '\<.\>' | wc -l
    17

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