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Re: [Groff] Critique this bold-italic private macro for man pages

From: Ralph Corderoy
Subject: Re: [Groff] Critique this bold-italic private macro for man pages
Date: Thu, 04 May 2017 10:24:09 +0100

Hi Branden,

> Ingo wrote:
> > There are real-world systems (sold today) where neither \(lq nor the
> > 'c' conditional is supported.

And I know from experience that they become much more palatable after
building source for better versions of their binaries, and adding new
programs they don't have.  That source builds, and man pages format, on
these POSIX systems is a real benefit to those stuck using them.  And
`install groff' isn't an answer because permission often needs to be
sought for each.

> Why do my man pages need to be more portable the shell scripts or C
> code I ship with them?

Yours don't, but don't constrain the rest of us, or lead us astray with
non-portable -man extensions that will just increase the problems on
systems you don't use.

> I refuse to write shell scripts for general-purpose consumption only
> in the historical Bourne dialect that Solaris /bin/sh was

Again, that's your choice.  Many of us go to the effort of writing
portable code, and coping with the issues from those using it on less
common systems, including proprietary ones.

> and I refuse to write man pages for general-purpose consumption only
> in some minimal common subset that _no one_ has troubled themselves to
> carefully define.

If your viewpoint is "it's Linux, Mac OS X, or BSD, or it doesn't exist"
then I don't think it counts for much in considering changes to groff,
-man, mdoc, etc., that have a wider impact.

Cheers, Ralph.

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