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

From: Ingo Schwarze
Subject: Re: [groff] Regularize (sub)section cross references.
Date: Sun, 16 Dec 2018 20:49:05 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.8.0 (2017-02-23)

Hi Tadziu,

Tadziu Hoffmann wrote on Sun, Dec 16, 2018 at 07:08:06PM +0100:
> Ingo Schwarze wrote:

>> 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

Oh yes, now that you point me to it,
i see it in the source code.

> (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.

That does seem likely, then.

>> 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),

Major formatting changes occurred at least three times:

 * AT&T Version 4 Unix: use of the first macro sets:
   man0/naa (74 lines) and man0/taa (91 lines).
 * AT&T Version 7 Unix: use of the new man(7) macros (267 lines)
 * 4.4BSD: use of the new mdoc(7) macros (4620 lines)

Approximate numbers of manual pages:

 * AT&T Version 3 Unix (1973):  220 13k lines 53k words 305kB
 * AT&T Version 4 Unix (1973):  262
 * AT&T Version 6 Unix (1975):  253
 * AT&T Version 7 Unix (1979):  301
 * 3BSD                (1980):  401
 * 4.0BSD:             (1980):  438
 * 4.1BSD:             (1981):  439
 * 4.2BSD:             (1983):  688
 * 4.3BSD-Tahoe:       (1988):  966
 * 4.3BSD-Reno:        (1990): 1220 175k lines 840k words 5200kB
 * 4.4BSD:             (1993): 1461
 * 4.4BSD-Lite1:       (1994): 1178
 * 4.4BSD-Lite2:       (1995): 1199
 * OpenBSD-current:    (2018): 3387 850k lines 4400k words 27MB
                                    (base only, without X and ports)

So it is hundred times the volume now compared to v4,
or five times the volume that Cynthia had to handle when
she did her rewrite.  And i doubt that OpenBSD is the largest
system out there.

Of course, in the case at hand, we are only talking about the .Sh/.SH
lines; still, a quick grep gives me 23k of those in the OpenBSD
base system alone - more than the complete text of the v4 manuals.
Some of that can certainly be automated, but it still needs
proofreading, and the automation is not completely trivial.

> 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?

Doug or Ken may know that; i don't.


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