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Re: Thoughts on tbl(1)

From: Ingo Schwarze
Subject: Re: Thoughts on tbl(1)
Date: Tue, 6 Sep 2022 18:23:36 +0200

Hi Alejandro & Branden,

G. Branden Robinson wrote on Tue, Sep 06, 2022 at 07:49:58AM -0500:
> At 2022-09-06T13:37:39+0200, Alejandro Colomar wrote:

>> I was wondering if tbl(1) wouldn't be better split into tbl(1) and
>> groff_tbl(7)
> [...]
>> I'd like to be able to refer to tbl(7) as a language when talking
>> about it as a language.

> That's a reasonable request.  I think Ingo already does this in mandoc.

Not quite.

The mandoc package does provide a tbl(7) language manual, but it does
not provide a tbl(1) command line command, and consequently no tbl(1)
manual page either.

>> And, I think it also makes sense to separate documentation about the
>> command and its options from documentation about the language.

The GNU tbl(1) command has no options, which is actually laudable.
Well, there is the rather obscure -C option.  I say obscure because
even formatting the oldest manual pages that ever used tbl(7),
those in PWB and v7, does not need -C.

I think if a command has no options except a compatibility option
that is almost never needed even in extreme cases where one might
expect that they might possibly require compatibility, it is fair
to say that for practical purposes, it has no option.

Doug is right that a manual for only the command line command
would be almost empty.


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