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Re: mdoc patch: accept any number of arguments for .Dd

From: Ingo Schwarze
Subject: Re: mdoc patch: accept any number of arguments for .Dd
Date: Fri, 17 Jan 2020 01:44:43 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.12.2 (2019-09-21)

Hi Colin,

Colin Watson wrote on Thu, Jan 16, 2020 at 11:54:15PM +0000:
> On Thu, Jan 16, 2020 at 06:56:09PM +0100, Ingo Schwarze wrote:

>> TLDR: The point is that i have seen several manuals in a number of
>> different operating systems, both historical (around 1990) and modern
>> (around 2020) that give one or two arguments to .Dd.  From the
>> content of these arguments, it is obvious that they all expect the
>> date to be passed through unchanged.  I don't recall ever having
>> seen a manual page that passes one, two, or four arguments and
>> expects the current behaviour of replacing the arguments with the
>> date of formatting.

> The behaviour change as described seems reasonable to me,

Thanks for having a look at the description.

> although I haven't reviewed the code.  However, is there some good
> reason why this patch doesn't include a matching change to the
> documentation in tmac/

No, there isn't, sorry for the omission.  I think i should just
commit the following diff together with the code change.
The first three sentences resemble the wording in the mdoc(7)
manual page contained in the mandoc(1) package.


diff --git a/tmac/ b/tmac/
index 05f895f9..38964dd3 100644
--- a/tmac/
+++ b/tmac/
@@ -944,30 +944,32 @@ ugly.
 This macro is neither callable nor parsed.
-.It Li .Dd Oo
-.Aq month
+.It Li .Dd Xo
+.Aq Month
 .Aq day ,
 .Aq year
-.Ql Dd
-has no arguments,
-.Ql Epoch
-is used for the date string.
-If it has exactly three arguments, they are concatenated, separated with
-unbreakable space:
+The document date for display in the page footer.
+This is the mandatory first macro of any
+.Nm \-mdoc
+.Aq Month
+is the full English month name, the
+.Aq day
+is an integer number, and the
+.Aq year
+is the full four-digit year, for example:
 .Dl .Dd January 25, 2001
-The month's name shall not be abbreviated.
-With any other number of arguments, the current date is used, ignoring
-the parameters.
+The arguments are concatenated, separated with space characters,
+even if they do not match the recommended format.
 As a special exception, the format
 .Bd -filled -offset indent
 .Li .Dd $Mdocdate:
-.Aq month
+.Aq Month
 .Aq day
 .Aq year
 .Li $

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