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Re: Review incorrect man-pages commit

From: Ralph Corderoy
Subject: Re: Review incorrect man-pages commit
Date: Mon, 21 Mar 2022 10:33:20 +0000

Hi Branden,

> > > +.q !$%&\[aq]()*,/:;<=>?@[\[rs]]\[ha]\`{|}\[ti] .
> > 
> > I agree that nothing much is wrong with using the \[] variable
> > length character escape syntax in manual pages nowadays from the
> > point of view of portability.  Then again, i'm not convinced that
> > \[aq] is more readable than \(aq.  Why would it be?
> We get used to delimiters being paired.  :)

Depends on the delimiter: colon is an example, comma another.

To those used to troff, before GNU arrived, \(lq is just read as
a unit.  We do not think of it as an opening which requires a close.
The parenthesis immediately tells us the length of what follows.
In contrast, a open bracket tends to be more heavier than the parenthesis
and made much worse by the noisy closing one which is redundant in the
common two-letter case.  Plus one must scan for the ], detracting from
the flow of reading.

Cheers, Ralph.

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