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Re: [TUHS/groff] Provenance of .SB macro in man pages

From: Ingo Schwarze
Subject: Re: [TUHS/groff] Provenance of .SB macro in man pages
Date: Sat, 25 Jan 2020 17:28:25 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.12.2 (2019-09-21)

Hi Branden,

G. Branden Robinson wrote on Sun, Jan 26, 2020 at 02:00:13AM +1100:

> .\" ====================================================================
> .SS History

I think this should be ".SH History" rather than ".SS".

> .\" ====================================================================
> .

Here i would insert a sentence similar to

  The man macros first appeared in Version 7 AT&T UNIX.

then perhaps continuing in a way similar to:

  All macros described in this page not listed as extensions
  were supported, except ...

> Version\~7 Unix (1979) supported all of the macros described in this
> page not listed as extensions,
> except
> .\" TODO: Determine provenance of .SB.

I suspect .SB may have come from SUN, but i'm not sure.
In the BSD tapes from the CSRG, here are the first occurrences:

  BSD/4.3.3Reno/usr.sbin/sliplogin/sliplogin.8:.SB TCGETS
  BSD/4.4/contrib/sun.sharedlib/man/man5/a.out.5:.SB M_SPARC
  BSD/4.4/contrib/sun.sharedlib/man/man1/ld.1:.SB LD_LIBRARY_PATH
  BSD/4.4/contrib/groff-1.08/lkbib/ REFER

If you have access to SunOS 4.0 (Dec. 1988), i would try to start digging
there and see what you find.  Of course, that was in turn influenced
by SVR4 (Oct. 1988).  Tahoe didn't contain any .SB yet, so you may not
have to go back further than June 1988; then again, .SB *might* have
existed somewhere else already and just not made it into Tahoe...


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