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[Groff] overview of man(1) and groff(1) command line options

From: Ingo Schwarze
Subject: [Groff] overview of man(1) and groff(1) command line options
Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2017 21:40:00 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.6.2 (2016-07-01)


i just assembled an overview of all the command line options of
man(1), groff(1), and closely related utilities:

That may hopefully be useful for people who are forced to add a
command line option to one of these tools or to a similar one in
the future - of course, if you can avoid adding an option, please
refrain from doing so, but sometimes that's just not possible.

I figure that, if such a list had been available earlier, it would
contain less clashes.  I admit to being responsible for some of the
clashes myself, but when i implemented those options years ago, i
simply didn't find all the needed information.

If you see any errors or omissions, you are welcome to point me to
sources of information.


One curiosity is that the oldest information i could find about
groff comes from Kirk McKusick's Berkeley CSRG archive CDs, and not
from the official groff git repository.  The oldest BSD release i'm
aware of that contained groff is 4.3BSD-Net/2 released on August
20, 1991 (or maybe up to two months earlier, sources are contradictory).
It contained groff-1.01, released on March 13, 1991, and the complete
source code is available.  The first groff release contained in git
is groff-1.02, released June 2, 1991.  I wasn't aware of that when
Eric S. Raymond assembled the git repo, or of course i would have
spoken up.  Even now, i couldn't find sources of groff 0.4 (July
14, 1990), 0.5 (August 21, 1990), 0.6 (October 22, 1990), 0.7
(December 18, 1990), or 1.0 (January 6, 1991) either, or any
information about anything that predates groff-0.4.

Maybe you want to rebase?  ...  Oh, just kidding.  :)

The reason for doing this research right now is that i may be forced
to add a completely new option to mandoc(1), but i'm still unsure
about various details, i'm still pondering.  The rough goal is to
help a tool that does bulk conversions, but in a context where
catman(8) is probably not ideal; again, it's not a good time to
discuss the details of that yet, much is still unclear, i'm only
mentioning it such that you can understand the motivation, if you
wonder about it.

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