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Re: Bug#284002: [PATCH] mdoc: Update operating system release numbers

From: Colin Watson
Subject: Re: Bug#284002: [PATCH] mdoc: Update operating system release numbers
Date: Sun, 22 Nov 2020 18:18:48 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.10.1 (2018-07-13)

On Mon, Nov 23, 2020 at 03:02:49AM +1100, G. Branden Robinson wrote:
> At 2020-11-22T16:08:56+0100, Ingo Schwarze wrote:
> > Sure.  I dislike the concept of mdoc.local for more than one reason,
> > but probably it is good enough for this purposes if there is no
> > better way in Debian.  If mdoc.local gets automatically updated
> > during system updates, the proposed string also seems fine.  If it
> > is considered a user config file and does *not* get updated
> > automatically, then something like just "Debian GNU/Linux" might
> > be even better.
> Hahaha. This is's _both_ automatically updated during system
> updates _and_ considered a user config file!
> "conffiles" have been a dpkg feature for something like 25 years now.
> Every Debian sysadmin is familiar with the dpkg conffile prompt.  :D
> I suspect most people don't touch mdoc.local, so it will be
> automatically updated for them.
> Colin, what do you think?

Putting this in mdoc.local would more or less work, but if I had to do
this then I'd lean slightly towards just patching mdoc itself to say the
right thing for the operating system.

However, if that were the recommendation for distributors then it would
seem likely to result in a lack of consistency.  Maybe it's worth having
a little bit of explicit support in upstream groff for what distributors
are supposed to do?  I'd suggest that groff's configure could gain a
--with-os-name option whose argument becomes the default value of .Os;
it can carry on defaulting to "BSD", or the output of uname(3), or
whatever else as you see fit.  That would (gently) encourage
distributors to set this in a systematic way.

Colin Watson (he/him)                              []

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