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[bug #63768] want configurable URL format for man page hyperlinks

From: G. Branden Robinson
Subject: [bug #63768] want configurable URL format for man page hyperlinks
Date: Sat, 11 Feb 2023 15:23:03 -0500 (EST)

Follow-up Comment #10, bug #63768 (project groff):

[comment #9 comment #9:]
> I still would've preferred a simpler and more supple solution, such as
> .ds1 man-scheme-format man:\\$1(\\$2)\"
> .ds1 man-scheme-format x-man-page://\\$2/\\$1\"
> \*[man-scheme-format printf 3]
> ... with the default value varying depending on whether Groff was built on
macOS or some other system (defined at compile time).

People will screw up defining `man-scheme-format` left and right.  They won't
know how many backslashes to put in, for example.  I expect this sort of
change to made by people who might read man pages, but don't write them.  And
we already know that many man page _authors_ learn less _roff_ than necessary
to perform that task.

I didn't want to over-engineer this feature, as I feel it is a band-aid.  And
distributors for macOS can of course patch man.local 
to make format 4 the default.

I also don't want to _encourage_ proliferation of man page URL formats.  There
is no point; it can only cause misery for users.  I'd prefer
"man:page(section)" to win but my primary concern is that there be a single
format that works everywhere.  Apple and macOS are the primary, and perhaps
sole, obstacle to this outcome at present.

> This approach would treat `man-scheme-format` as a SSOT, shared by man(7),
mdoc(7), and any other package that groks hyperlinked man-page references…

I don't think a band-aid is worth institutionalizing.

> Ah well.

Well, there will be time for many more voices to pronounce judgement on the
quality of my plaster...we'll see what happens.


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