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Re: [PATCH] mdoc: Update operating system release numbers

From: G. Branden Robinson
Subject: Re: [PATCH] mdoc: Update operating system release numbers
Date: Sun, 22 Nov 2020 23:50:45 +1100
User-agent: NeoMutt/20180716

At 2019-12-21T14:51:23+0100, Ingo Schwarze wrote:
> Colin Watson wrote on Tue, Dec 17, 2019 at 01:15:30PM +0000:
> > On Tue, Dec 17, 2019 at 01:14:06PM +0000, Colin Watson wrote:
> > Side note: I am not the biggest fan of this business of encoding a
> > bunch of other projects' release history in groff, so please don't
> > take me as an advocate of that.  However, I am generally an advocate
> > of the position that if one is going to encode this sort of thing
> > then it makes sense to keep it up to date.
> I completely agree with all you are saying here.
> I do think that removing version verification and just printing
> whatever the manual page author requests in the same way as mandoc(1)
> is already doing it would be an improvement, but that should be
> discussed separately, not in this ticket.

There's another Debian bug report that impinges on this question.

How about we officially relax the semantics of ".Os" in mdoc(7) from
"operating system" to, say, "original source"?  Meaning whatever the
author/maintainer of the mdoc(7) document uses as a version control
identifier.  This would increase parallelism with man(7)'s fourth .TH
argument, and give projects an easy place to hang an identifier for the
page release.

Debian #284002 proposes overriding the "BSD" default with a
distribution-specific string in the mdoc.local file, and that seems a
resonable thing to do to me _as a fallback_ when there is no .Os in the
first place, and with the current mnemonic and documenttion, a portable
GitHub project developer, for instance, has little reason to suspect
they should use this macro.

As far as I can tell, this is already designed for with the string

So my proposal is twofold:

1. Update groff_mdoc(7) as described above, to encourage mdoc(7) page
   authors to use this to record a package/project name and release.
2. Encourage Colin to add the following to mdoc.local:

        .ds doc-default-operating-system Debian 11 (bullseye)\"

   or similar.



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