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Re: [Groff] It is time to modernise "groff"

From: Ralph Corderoy
Subject: Re: [Groff] It is time to modernise "groff"
Date: Sat, 02 Sep 2017 10:08:21 +0100

Hi Bjarni,

You present too long a list, and that may be putting off people from
attempting to reply, but I think the general answer is "no".

> an-old.tmac:.    tm `R' is a string (producing the registered sign), not a 
> macro.
> devices/grodvi/dvi.cpp:    error("unrecognised drawing command `%1'", 
> char(code));
> devices/grops/ps.cpp:// `pl' is in inches
> preproc/eqn/lex.cpp:        lex_error("`\\' ignored at end of equation");

«`foo'» in a comment harms no one.  I've seen some commands use 'foo' in
their error messages, or ‘foo’, depending on the locale.  The former
avoids having to vary.

> B) There are too many manuals (man pages) that contain a syntax error
> that is not seen because
> a) The user does not use '-ww'

Discuss with automake whether the normal `check' target could grow to
understand there are man-page sources?

> d) Compatibility mode is removed

There's too many old documents that users still wish to format.

> e) All warnings are issued unconditionally

Are there any that give false positives?

> f) No (special) warning can be suppressed or chosen (with -E, -w...,
> '-W ...', or the request '.warn ...').

Again, breaks formatting of old documents if stderr is being checked.

> g) All warnings are made to be errors and processing stopped
> immediately.

You'll be lynched.  :-)

> h) Make the default page size be A4 (a4).
> i) Adjust default sizes to the metric system.
> j) Use a metric point as default.  1 such point is then 375
> micrometres (15 x 250 um) or about 1 didot-point (0.376 mm).

No, compatibility, ditto many other suggestions.

> m) Change ``...'' to "...".  Directional quotation mark are not useful
> in comments, output to the standard error, or output that is not
> processed by "groff" itself.  Applies also to "groff".

I agree on stderr, it shouldn't see «``foo''».

> o) Use the .ig request for longer (4-5 lines) comments, like

No, .ig is read in copy-mode.

    $ printf '%s\n' '.nr n 42 +1' '.tm \nn' .ig '\n+n' .. '.tm \nn' |
    > nroff >/dev/null

Cheers, Ralph.

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