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Re: Use various macro packages in the same page (was: Re: Plan 9 man add

From: G. Branden Robinson
Subject: Re: Use various macro packages in the same page (was: Re: Plan 9 man added a new macro for man page references)
Date: Thu, 5 Aug 2021 17:50:49 +1000
User-agent: NeoMutt/20180716

At 2021-08-05T00:04:46+1000, John Gardner wrote:
> > But the mdoc(7) and man(7) languages can also be regarded as
> > languages with a grammar
> I wish people would stop referring to these as "languages". They're
> macro packages, plain and simple: their "syntax" is that of the
> language they're written in, Roff. How mandoc(1) implements and parses
> them is immaterial, especially since mandoc's job isn't to be an
> implementation of Troff, but to be a formatter for these two very
> specialised macro sets, using a cherry-picked subset of language
> features.
> It's difficult to get newcomers interested in Troff when they're
> frequently being told that the program's input language isn't one, but
> several... only to find out much later on how they really work, and
> that the system is less complex than they initially believed.

I don't think Ingo was addressing novices.  From a mathematical or
computer science perspective, it is legitimate to regard mdoc and man(7)
as languages.


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