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Re: [Groff] .if !dTS - GNU extension?

From: Steffen Nurpmeso
Subject: Re: [Groff] .if !dTS - GNU extension?
Date: Wed, 04 May 2016 12:27:40 +0200
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Deri James <address@hidden> wrote:

 |I've been using pdf versions of the man pages for a while now. They don't 
 |suffer some of the problems mentioned in this thread. For example, in\
 | the ksh 
 |manual you can find the description of "read" with two mouse clicks. First 
 |open the section "Built-in commands" (near the bottom of the overview\
 | pane), 
 |then scroll down to the "read" command and click on it.

Yes.  This is a convenient, also visual, improvement for users,
but it plasters over a hollow ground!

 |You can see what I mean at:-

The good thing about real books is that you can have a finger in
the index as necessary.  E.g., if you read a book from Oxford
World's Classics, well you as an English are used to the quality,
by the way, yet i'm not, so that i admire and i can bathe in
typography, footnotes and also swiftly look and read things like

  salvage or silver man: wild man of the woods or green man;
  a figure of heraldry as well as folklore.

and switch back to the daunting story within a glance, the most
beautiful green turf, surrounded on one side by the forest, and
fringed on the other by straggling oak-trees, some of which had
grown to an immense size.

This experience you simply won't get without precise text
attribution and iterated text inspection, let it be expensive.
Pissing a bit it needs to be said that with mdocmx(7) – thus
anchors – you get a bit of what i call «natural» read experience,
regardless of wether you look at the HTML variant, or – and that
it is for me!  (And note germans surround em dashes with spaces!)
– on the terminal, in your normal $PAGER.

It is missing an index yet, but while reading in the text you see
a reference to, say, *mimetypes-counter-evidence*, you hit ^A and
enter the link number, recall what this is all about, then hit ''
and are back where you were before.  In a HTML browser you can
even follow blindly as references fly by and step back multiple
times, i sometimes miss that in my mdocmx(7)ified less(1).

Then imagine all manual pages where instrumented like that, and
a real multi-level index could be build over them all.  All
functions, all preprocessor variables, all "commands" etc.,
available in a searchable and even browsable (could be themselves
mdoc(7) and mdocmx(7)) in a plain $PAGER, too!  A list of all
cross-references, as in "gzip(1) is referenced from the following
manual pages: x y z".  Then your system would be able to produce
a real index and a real table of content of all the things that
your system actually provides.  More is thinkable, the tool could
also generate JSON or CBOR output, or whatever.  Compare that to
the X Rosetta Man.


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