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Re: (off topic?) Docbook? Re: manlint?

From: Peter Schaffter
Subject: Re: (off topic?) Docbook? Re: manlint?
Date: Mon, 28 Sep 2020 15:24:36 -0400
User-agent: Mutt/1.9.4 (2018-02-28)

On Mon, Sep 28, 2020, Steve Izma wrote:
> I think Larry's point here is that it's not that hard to write a
> script to go from a markup language to groff.

I think the crux of the matter is going from a markup language *to a
specific groff macroset*, not merely "to groff."

A couple of years ago, Yves Cloutier and I discussed his idea of
creating an entirely new markup language, which would begin life as
a markup=>groff converter and proceed from there.  Needless to say,
he discovered quickly that his converter needed a macroset to map
the markup to; conversion to low-level groff is futile because many
of the operations groff is expected to perform demand being managed
by macros.

Going the reverse direction, groff=>markup language (e.g. HTML),
it is equally evident that only conversions from a known macroset
are going to produce semantically clean results.  Thus, I feel that
any work done on a grohtml-like device must start by determining an
appropriate macroset to use for the conversion, then extending it to
include additional macrosets.

grohtml(1) makes no mention of macrosets, which lacuna can only be
construed by users in one of two ways: grohtml is macro-agnostic,
thus it will convert any macroset, or grohtml only converts
low-level groff ("...converts the output of GNU troff to html.").
I believe neither is true.

Using -ms as an example, I would dearly love to see the DESCRIPTION
in grohtml(1) begin:

  "The grohtml front end...translates the output of documents
   formatted with the groff_ms(1) macros to html.  Users should
   always invoke grohtml via the groff command with the -Thtml
   and -ms options."

Peter Schaffter

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