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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 22:32:08 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.8.0 (2017-02-23)

Hi Branden,

G. Branden Robinson wrote on Sun, Dec 16, 2018 at 01:33:43PM -0500:
> At 2018-12-16T17:15:47+0100, Ingo Schwarze wrote:

>> So i don't regard it as a big mystery how the rule "put all caps
>> into the source code for section headers" came to be.  The question
>> only is whether it is worth editing thousands of manual pages for
>> each operating system to get rid of the rule now.

> I think that is a false dilemma; between changing everything and
> changing nothing.

I don't think that's a good description of the question.
The question is whether to change a recommendation.

Somebody who would issue a recommendation and then refuse to follow
it himself would look like a hypocrite to me.

> Since we don't have power over all the man pages in existence,

Well, we do have power over the OpenBSD pages (assuming we can agree
with Jason), and i know the manual page maintainers in FreeBSD and
NetBSD (not just via email), i met them in person several times.
I guess soembody here will probably know Michael Kerrisk, too.

> it's easy to predict how such a dilemma gets decided.

Starting with the above list of people is likely to have quite
some impact in the medium term if we dacide it's worth it.

> It's my intention to downcase man page names (.TH) and section
> headings (.SH)[1] in groff after 1.22.4 is released.

Wait.  Unless our goal is to make that the long-term goal for all
well-maintained manual pages, groff shouldn't change either but
adhere to the long-standing practice, or we merely cause divergence
in the ecosystem and decreased coherence for users.

> Cognizant of conservative attitudes, I'm of course willing to do the
> work to support the transformation of these items back into shouting
> capitals at the macro package level.

That's the trivial part, causing negligible work.

Besides, arguably, that should even be done if we do *not* change
the recommendation - amybe even more so in that case.


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