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Re: *roff `\~` support (was: [PATCH 4/6] xattr.7: wfix)

From: G. Branden Robinson
Subject: Re: *roff `\~` support (was: [PATCH 4/6] xattr.7: wfix)
Date: Sun, 14 Aug 2022 17:21:50 -0500

At 2022-08-14T16:15:54+0200, Ingo Schwarze wrote:
> > I also have a PR pending with Illumos.
> >
> Illumos isn't doing development on GitHub.

Yeah, I promptly got a lengthy follow-up from a member of the core team
pointing me to even more lengthy contribution procedures.

(I guess this explains the "-gate" suffix in the GH project name.)

> Besides, Illumos is less of a problem because they have been using
> mandoc as the default manual page formatter since July 2014.

Ahh, so the general Illumos user won't suffer mishandling of `\~`
anyway--not in man pages, at least.

> All the same, getting \~ supported in their general-purpose
> roff implementation is no doubt nice to have, too.

Yes.  But I don't have the spoons to go through their formal
contribution procedure.  I think my PR will have to sit there as a form
of incompatibility notice, and someone else will need to pick up the
patch and advocate for its incorporation.  I also have a serious
handicap in that I can't test my patch; I don't run Illumos.  (Plan 9
from User Space makes it easy to test _in situ_.)

I don't blame them for having a lot of process; their concerns are
surely more with sexy but delicate, high-stakes stuff like ZFS and
DTrace.  Not post-1989 developments in troff.

> That reduces my converns mostly to commercial UNIXes and potentially
> to a few ad-hoc conversion tools we are not even aware of.
> Consequently, the converns aren't 100% resolved yet but getting
> closer to becoming theoretical concerns.  If it's only commercial
> UNIXes and unknown tools that may break, the improved typesetting
> quality may be worth the risk.

And we don't know how many, if any, of those are even _maintained_, so
even if the knowledge of what to patch were available, the will may be

I'll take my easy win and move on to the next problem.  :D


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