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Re: weird \s

From: Dave Kemper
Subject: Re: weird \s
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2020 07:59:09 -0500

On 3/31/20, Ingo Schwarze <address@hidden> wrote:
> There is value in compatibility with historical documents, in
> particular where the consequences of changing behaviour would be
> as ugly as for historical code similar to "\s99 nroff\s0".
> Then again, there is also value in avoiding surprising parser
> rules, in particular for something as surprising as what \s99 does.
> Strong arguments both ways...

Very well put.  Where is the balance between total adherence to
historical functionality that itself was rooted in a particular piece
of 1970s hardware, and usefulness to document creators in 2020, 2030,
and beyond?  My fear is that if groff chooses to studiously avoid even
the most minor inconvenience to people typesetting 40-year-old
documents that use dubious syntax, at the expense of obvious clarity
to anyone writing content today, it will fail to attract and retain
the user base it needs to remain healthy into the future.

(Admittedly, in the realm of *roff gotchas, this is not one of the
larger ones.  But the expense of changing it is perhaps equally

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