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Re: [Groff] Mission statement, second draft

From: Eric S. Raymond
Subject: Re: [Groff] Mission statement, second draft
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2014 10:09:24 -0400
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)

Ingo Schwarze <address@hidden>:
> To do that, i first have to try and rehash Eric's plan,
> hoping this will be an adequate summary:
>  (1) narrowing and simplifying the man markup language, decoupling it
>      from groff peculiarities (without going into much detail yet
>      which idioms exactly to discourage, and what in partiular to
>      replace them with - probably idioms from (2) in most cases)
>  (2) maybe introduce a small number of additional semantic macros
>      to man(7), or maybe (likely?) what's in man_ext now may be
>      enough extension already (without going into much detail yet
>      what might or might not still be missing)
>  (3) scan existing packages for usage conflicting with (1),
>      contacting maintainers and politely explaining to them
>      what is problematic about it, what the downsides for their
>      users are, and how they can improve user experience by
>      modernizing documentation markup, sometimes even providing
>      patches (note that (3) lies outside the scope of groff
>      development)

That is a fair summary.  I would add two points:

1) I don't intend to guess about which low-level requests to banish - 
instead I'll do a frequency count on an entire man tree in Ubuntu
and look at what requests can be disallowed without pushing the 
level of breakage above 3% or so.

2) At some point, I expect to implement a hygiene mode that will actually
disable those requests in man(7). There will be grumbling...
                <a href="";>Eric S. Raymond</a>

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