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Re: backslash-period escape does not work

From: Werner LEMBERG
Subject: Re: backslash-period escape does not work
Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2011 14:21:28 +0100 (CET)

> The backslash-period escape sequence in groff doesn't work as
> described in documentation.
> Manual page:
> \.     An uninterpreted dot (period), even at start of line.
> Minimal reproducer:
> $ groff -wmac -Tascii <<< '\.foo'
> <standard input>:1: warning: macro `foo' not defined

As Tadziu has already stated, this is a documentation bug.  The
description in the groff info manual is better but perhaps not
optimal.  Below you can find the description of both `\\' (shortened)
and `\.'.

 -- Escape: \\

     `\\' is a `delayed' backslash; more precisely, it is the default
     escape character followed by a backslash, which no longer has
     special meaning due to the leading escape character.  It is _not_
     an escape sequence in the usual sense!  In any unknown escape
     sequence `\X' the escape character is ignored and X is printed.
     But if X is equal to the current escape character, no warning is

     As a consequence, only at top-level or in a diversion a backslash
     glyph is printed; in copy-in mode, it expands to a single
     backslash which then combines with the following character to an
     escape sequence.


 -- Escape: \.
     Similar to `\\', the sequence `\.' isn't a real escape sequence.
     As before, a warning message is suppressed if the escape character
     is followed by a dot, and the dot itself is printed.

Any suggestions and patches to improve both the short doc string in
the man page and the longer info page details are highly welcomed.


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