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Re: [groff] Regularize (sub)section cross references.

From: Tadziu Hoffmann
Subject: Re: [groff] Regularize (sub)section cross references.
Date: Sun, 16 Dec 2018 19:08:06 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.9.1 (2017-09-22)

> Jerry Saltzer's RUNOFF (1964) did not have a .tr request, [...]
> By AT&T Version 3 UNIX (1973), nroff(1) did have it, [...]

Doug McIlroy's GECOS runoff had it (the memo from 1969
even mentions its utility in creating unpaddable spaces),
so I assumed (perhaps wrongly) that this feature had also
been adopted in Unix nroff from the beginning.

> so it's not clear to me whether unix v1 roff(1) already
> supported the .tr request.  But even if it did, that
> would not have helped: programmable macros only appeared
> in nroff(1), in 1972, at least a year after the v1 manual
> pages were completed - let alone begun.

I see.  So while the v3 nroff manual page already mentions
macros (and the .tr request), the manual page itself was
still written using raw nroff requests.  For v4 the manpages
*were* rewritten to use macros (so it's not like editing all
the manpages was considered too much work at the time), but
auto-capitalization for section headers was not considered --
or perhaps it was considered but consciously rejected because
situations existed where it would be detrimental?

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