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Re: [Groff] Mission statement, second draft

From: Deri James
Subject: Re: [Groff] Mission statement, second draft
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2014 23:10:56 +0000
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On Wed 19 Mar 2014 15:22:42 Eric S. Raymond wrote:
> > SO: Supposing that this proposed enterprise goes ahead, WILL WE
> Yes.

Except if you are a man page author who wants to use all the troff syntax, 
in which case you will find that "some things" will no longer work, or a 
consumer of man pages who values presentation rather than the ability to 
look at man pages on small phone screens (one of the cited advantages 
of using html).

NB We have not yet been told which things will stop working. The reason 
for deliberately breaking certain troff commands (only when used in man 
pages), seems quite similar to what W3C tried to do with XHTML1.1 and 
2.0, if there is an "error" in the input, refuse to display it, with the 
that all markup would become perfect.

This seems to be the difference between Ingo and Eric's approach. Ingo is 
correct in saying we should be trying to win hearts and minds of man page 
authors to use macros which include semantic information, but Eric says 
we must stop any man pages which include presentation markup which 
Doclifter specifically can't handle, from being displayable by groff. The 
choice then is either those naughty man pages get re-written, or they die 
since neither groff, Doclifter nor mdoc can display them. Either way, 
Doclifter can then claim to be 100% compatible with all man pages which it 
is possible to display.

If I have misunderstood Eric's intentions with regard to the purpose of 
introducing the .hygiene command, then it would be very helpful if he could 
elucidate further.


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