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Re: man(7) .TH font change, was: groff man(7) `B` macro...

From: Ingo Schwarze
Subject: Re: man(7) .TH font change, was: groff man(7) `B` macro...
Date: Sun, 19 Jun 2022 19:28:26 +0200


Alejandro Colomar wrote on Sun, Jun 19, 2022 at 04:11:49PM +0200:
> On 6/19/22 16:00, Ralph Corderoy wrote:

>> On this out of date system, the *.gz man pages under
>> /usr/share/man, so ignoring /usr/local/man, come from about
>> 600 packages.  Package man-pages is the biggest supplier of
>> those at about 17% of the man-page files, but that still leaves
>> quite a few others.

> Interesing.

Since you say it's interesting, here is another data point
from an OpenBSD-current system used for development, i.e. with
a medium range of packages installed, more development-related
software than so-called "productivity" software:

numbers of pages                     mdoc   man
base system       = /usr/share/man/  3457   945
window system     = /usr/X11R6/man/    17  1513
optional packages = /usr/local/man/   378  4955
to compare, not installed:
Lunix man pages project                 0  1060

The number of optional packages i have installed is only a small
fraction of the number of packages i could install if i wanted to,
specifically, 504 from out of more than ten thousand, or roughly 5%.
A very crude extrapolation suggests (basically, multiplying by 20)
there might be about 5000 mdoc manual pages and about 100,000 man
manual pages in software that has been ported to OpenBSD.

Given that the base system corpora of FreeBSD and NetBSD are of the
same order of magnitude as in OpenBSD (and treating DragonFly as a
FreeBSD fork for now, which is not fair in general, but good enough
for this particular purpose because Dragonfly is likely to evetually
merge FreeBSD manual page improvements, even if with a long delay)
the estamited total number of mdoc manual pages might be about 15k,
with each of the major BSD systems contolling rougly 20-25% each, and
third-party software controlling maybe on the order of 20-40%.

To summarize, the *BSD base systems very likely collectively control
the majority of existing mdoc(7) manual pages, whereas the Linux man
pages project likely controls on the order of 1% of the existing
man(7) pages - even when we consider neither commercial UNIX systems
nor proprietary software.

That makes compatibility in man(7) significantly more of a concern
than in mdoc(7).  All the same, i would certainly not consider
adding anything as disruptive as .MR to mdoc(7).


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