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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 21:56:10 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.8.0 (2017-02-23)

Hi John,

John Gardner wrote on Mon, Dec 17, 2018 at 07:25:00AM +1100:
> Tadziu Hoffmann wrote:

>> or perhaps it was considered but consciously rejected because
>> situations existed where it would be detrimental?

> It could have been to make sections more conspicuous in text editors,

Certainly not.  The editor in v3 and v4 was ed(1).
Even ex(1) did not exist at the time.

> making it easier for the author to spot sections when skimming a file.
> Doubt there was any syntax highlighting back then... =)

Syntax highlighting six years before the invention of vi(1)?
That's indeed a funny idea!

> Plus it's easier to search for a section name

The more(1) command first appeared in 3.0BSD.
That is another year *after* vi(1).

No, those can't possibly be the reasons.  :-)

I suspect that in 1973, developers consulted printed manuals rather
than reading them at the terminal, simply because the terminal was
a real line printing terminal and the machine didn't have a CRT
yet.  Even the first two machines i practiced programming on only
had LED (not LCD!) single-line displays and didn't have CRTs yet.

> if you know in advance it'll always be in uppercase, which I guess
> spares you the effort of remembering to do a case-sensitive search
> in vi or whatever...

That may be worth considering today, though.  How does the importance
of that compare to the trouble caused for screen readers etc.?

I tend to think it is not that important even today, so the main
tradeoff remains (editing effort + overcoming people's inertia)
vs. (less trouble for screen readers + nicer typography).


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