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

From: G. Branden Robinson
Subject: Re: [BUG] groff: inconsistent behavior of " to separate arguments
Date: Fri, 25 Mar 2022 22:57:35 +1100
User-agent: NeoMutt/20180716

Ho humm,

At 2022-03-25T09:17:59+0000, Humm wrote:
> Quoth G. Branden Robinson:
> > As far as I know, groff innovated these character definitions, and my
> > hat's off to James Clark for doing so.  Lacking them for so long strikes
> > me as...blinkered.
> When was that?  In the git commit messages I see it in 2000.

It appears the history of the two neutral quote-like glyphs is split in
groff's history.

\(aq shows up in groff-1.06 (1992-09-01), and is apparently James
Clark's work.  On the ps device, it maps to the "quotesingle" glyph.

Regarding \(dq, you are correct.  It shows up in the following commits.

commit 99c93699043100a1b83e4dce7a0c498a1ca42952
Author: Werner LEMBERG <>
Date:   Thu May 4 07:44:39 2000 +0000

    Adding `dq' (PS name `quotedbl') glyph name as an alias for `"'.

    * fonts/*/*: Implement it.
    * man/, NEWS: Document it.

commit 21175b7f38a1ef12626db0793db85b8d4b089625
Author: Werner LEMBERG <>
Date:   Thu May 4 07:39:12 2000 +0000

    * DviChar.c: Adding `dq' as an alias for `"' in latin-1 map.

So my thanks go to both James and Werner for doing what no 1980s troff

> \(dq appears in the first edition of Plan 9 in the devutf device.  The
> files are dated 1993-01-04.

Thank you for clarifying.  I don't have any Plan 9 source artifacts from
that far back; I use "n-t-roff"'s GitHub repository, for which the first
commit is dated 12 October 2014.

A cursory Google search did not turn up downloadable source archives of
any release prior to the fourth edition, though it appears there should
be no legal impediment to their distribution[1].



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