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Re: [groff] 03/09: tmac/an-old.tmac: Stop remapping ` and '.

From: Jan Stary
Subject: Re: [groff] 03/09: tmac/an-old.tmac: Stop remapping ` and '.
Date: Sat, 31 Oct 2020 15:58:00 +0100

Hi Branden,

as an author of manpages for command-line utilities,
I want to type e.g. `this' into a manpage source like `this'
because that's exactly what you type on the cmdline
and that's what I want the user to read in the manpage.

To be sure: are you proposing that manpage authors
type something else than `that', or that formatters
display something else? Having to type anything else
(in the name of good typography) is making me jump through hoops.

I'm all for good typography. In a book,
I expect to see l'beautiful apostrophe if

        Patricia's nipples turned rigid as soon as
        Reginald's strong hands touched them

or whatever.

But in a manpage, I want to just type e.g. ` and the formatter
to display ` and the reader to see ` because that's what
you type when you run the command.

> > > 6. Revert the change an un-fix the misuses of ` and ' in code
> > >    specimens that I've been repairing for the past few years.

What "misuse"?

> With the above, you are, in fact, saying something that there _is_
> something deeply wrong, _with me_, for wanting good typography in man
> pages and wanting a way to manifest it on my terminal screen without
> forking groff.

Having `this' in a manpage is perfectly good typography,
because that's exatly what you type when you use the command.

I don't see any benefit in having to type or display something else.
What do you argue _is_ the benefit? A more beautiful manpage that
says something else than what it wants to say?

> > manual pages are written by software developers,
> > not by typesetters, who are used to typing programming languages
> > and who are used to the fact, from the past, that these five
> > characters do not need escaping.



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