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Re: [BUG] groff: inconsistent behavior of " to separate arguments

From: Alejandro Colomar (man-pages)
Subject: Re: [BUG] groff: inconsistent behavior of " to separate arguments
Date: Sun, 20 Mar 2022 17:40:42 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:91.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/91.6.2

Hi, Branden!

On 3/20/22 10:36, G. Branden Robinson wrote:
> At 2022-03-20T01:29:32+0100, Alejandro Colomar (man-pages) wrote:
> Ralph's description, as I parse it, is correct.  I'll speak to the
> broader issue of documentation coverage of the matter.
>> Could you please improve the documentation regarding '"'?
> Yes, something about this should become part of groff(7).  In
> groff_man_style(7), I have restricted the discussion to advising people
> to use the \(dq special character (also spellable as \[dq]).

Yes, but don't need to extend it too much.
I also prefer the advise to use \(dq in general.
This info would be useful especially for updating old documents,
so it doesn't need to be very detailed.

> The issue _is_ discussed in the groff Texinfo manual.  Here's the
> relevant material from the groff 1.22.4 version.

Ahh, I never read groff's info pages :/

> There is a kind of elegance to that; unfortunately, as our Texinfo
> manual notes, the non-literal double quotes are removed in the process
> of macro argument interpolation, so if one macro wraps another naïvely,
> the result will be unfortunate.

Okay.  I'll fix it some day.

> I haven't checked yet, but I _think_ all *roffs that are actively
> developed (so, ours, Heirloom Doctools's, and neatroff) make a point of
> defining the `dq` special character.  It baffles me that Kernighan
> didn't establish this practice when making AT&T troff device-independent
> in ~1979.  Maybe some day if I ever get the chance, I'll ask him why.


> Does this help?




Alejandro Colomar
Linux man-pages comaintainer;

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