[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [groff] .SY/.YS, was: Duff's Device

From: Nate Bargmann
Subject: Re: [groff] .SY/.YS, was: Duff's Device
Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2018 15:28:36 -0500
User-agent: NeoMutt/20180223

* On 2018 27 Jun 11:52 -0500, G. Branden Robinson wrote:
> > I'm still hoping that at some point, we may be able to get the
> > groff manual pages at least half-portable, even though that may
> > still be a long way.  Use of .SY/.YS is a major step backwards.
> My objectives do not include killing off the man macro package for
> non-legacy purposes, at least not in favor of mdoc.  Yours do.
> Everything we do to make the man macro package less capable and
> attractive to use than it already is--and it already has many design
> problems and has proven too hard for many garden-variety developers to
> use competently[3]--is going to become an argument by you to just write
> in mdoc instead.  This is not conjecture; I've seen you do on it this
> list, and up to a certain point I even support you doing it.

I've come to this list late.  I've worked on man pages as long ago as
2007 though I didn't know much and sort of just followed what was
already in the page(s) I was working on.  I suspect most developers do
the same.  Early last year I became more interested and started reading
the various section 7 pages and became better educated.

Let me say this.  With a modicum of understanding, writing man(7) pages
is not too difficult.  I would like to see man(7) enhanced in some ways
and left well enough alone in most ways.

Until after my initial post to this list earlier this year I wasn't even
aware of mdoc(7).  At Ingo's suggestion I took a look and opted against
it for the project I maintain.  Why?  It is too complex for a hobby
project as that which I maintain, so man(7) it is.  I, and probably many
others, can parse man(7) markup visually practically without knowing
much about the macro package.  I cannot say the same about mdoc(7),
especially with macros mixed in with content that are not delimited by
an escape character (sorry, Ingo, don't try to convince me otherwise).

As I see it, man(7) should be enhanced where it makes sense.  man(7) is
good for man pages and that is really all most of us care about for the
macro package.  Acceptable PS/PDF and even reasonable HTML is a bonus.

Please, Branden, bring us good ideas.  Discovering the .SY/.YS and .OP
macros made my SYNOPSIS sections much more consistent.  Yes, I had a
couple of cases where .OP doesn't work and I manually formatted that
part.  I was glad to see that .SY did not interfere.  From what I
understand, these macros are relatively new.  The existence of legacy
compilers has not kept GCC from moving forward.  Likewise, the existence
of legacy *roff should not preclude man(7) from doing the same.

- Nate


"The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all
possible worlds.  The pessimist fears this is true."

Web:  GPG key: D55A8819  GitHub: N0NB

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: PGP signature

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]