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Re: Standardize roff (was: *roff `\~` support)

From: Sam Varshavchik
Subject: Re: Standardize roff (was: *roff `\~` support)
Date: Sun, 14 Aug 2022 20:20:34 -0400

Ingo Schwarze writes:


DJ Chase wrote on Sat, Aug 13, 2022 at 05:27:34PM +0000:

> Have we ever considered a de jure *roff standard?

No, i think that would be pure madness given the amount of working
time available in any of the roff projects.

I expect the amount of effort required to be significantly larger
than the amount of effort that would be required for rewriting
the entire groff documentation from scratch because:

I tinkered with something like this some years ago, but I took a slightly different approach.

I converted man pages from 'roff source to Docbook XML using a … pretty large Perl script.

Once a year, or so, when I have nothing better to do I pull the current man page tarball and reconvert it. I usually need to tinker the Perl script, here and there, each time.

The Docbook folks provide a stylesheet that converts Docbook XML back to 'roff. The end result you get is standardized 'roff, whatever that means.

But, yes, the effort require to clean up and standardize the formatting
of man pages would be mammoth. There's more inconsistency across the
various man pages, from various sources, than consistency.

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