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Re: [Nmh-workers] man page change review

From: Anthony J. Bentley
Subject: Re: [Nmh-workers] man page change review
Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2012 21:22:23 -0600

Ken Hornstein writes:
> >I just pushed a new nmh.7 man page.  Along with Paul's content changes,
> >it includes the troff source changes I am planning to make across the
> >board. Specifically, I'm getting rid of the .RS/.RE/.fc/.ta hackery and
> >replacing it with .TP tagged paragraphs.  These changes also let me
> >replace some of the embedded \fXasdf\fY usage with the standard font
> >change macros (.B, .I, .IR, etc), which might help the mandoc folks.
> I'm not a troff/man guru by any means ... so I was wondering: why
> these changes?  I'm not complaining about them, it's more for my
> own understanding.  Example: I understand that .B and \fB do the
> same thing, but why is the former preferred?

I don't know if they do *exactly* the same thing. From mandoc's man(7) page

     In man documents, both Physical markup macros and roff(7) `\f' font
     escape sequences can be used to choose fonts.  In text lines, the effect
     of manual font selection by escape sequences only lasts until the next
     macro invocation; in macro lines, it only lasts until the end of the
     macro scope.

As far as I know, \fB is not deprecated: it is used in the skeleton
document in the above page. That page is worth reading, by the way;
it is probably one of the best references on the man language around.

The nmh man pages do have some problematic constructs, which I asked about
on the mandoc mailing list some time ago. Ingo Schwarze, an OpenBSD
developer (and a manpage expert if I ever saw one), replied:

Anthony J. Bentley

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