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[bug #53196] .hy values 4 and 8 ignored for some words

From: Dave
Subject: [bug #53196] .hy values 4 and 8 ignored for some words
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2018 15:55:33 -0500 (EST)
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux i686; rv:45.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/45.0

Follow-up Comment #6, bug #53196 (project groff):

Because the regression Bjarni reported in comment #3 is a separate issue from
the primary one in this bug report, I've opened bug #53243 for it.  Further
comments about overall use of .hy 4 and 8 should go there.

To respond to comment #5:

I agree that in a perfect world, the reasons for all design decisions would be
documented.  However, in legacy software there comes a point when the only
important reason that things need to work a certain way is because they have
always worked that way.  (Preserving backwards compatibility is one thing
about which groff users on the email list seem to nearly unanimously agree.)

No one designing software from the ground up today would have it evaluate the
expression 1+2*3 as 9.  But groff must continue to do this because classical
troff did this in the 1970s.

Whether the original reasons for this decision are documented is, ultimately,
irrelevant: the reason this absurd precedence order persists today is so that
historical troff documents continue to work as they always have.

Similarly, whether or not one understands the reasons for the various values
of .hy, they have been part of the language for decades and should continue to
work as they always have.


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