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Re: macOS Terminal man page URL format

From: G. Branden Robinson
Subject: Re: macOS Terminal man page URL format
Date: Mon, 6 Feb 2023 13:55:14 -0600

Hi John,

At 2023-02-07T06:26:22+1100, John Gardner wrote:
> Then how about a callback? It could be called with the relevant
> parameters, and authors can use plain ol' Roff to specify the
> hyperlink format.

That creates more places for something to go wrong.  Also I don't want
people to get the idea that they should be defining this callback _in
the man page document_.  That is very much the wrong way to go.

> I think we're on two different pages here. That last list of URL
> formats was intended to illustrate the potential for variation amidst
> software authors. It's very easy for somebody to "invent" their own
> man page URL scheme, one that may be partially- or wholly-incompatible
> with other, better-established schemes.

Yes, but you have actually encountered these in practical experience.

> Ultimately, only's scheme (x-man-page://) should be taken
> seriously by Groff.

I would prefer to hold macOS up to ridicule in this respect in hopes of
motivating its users (and developers) to standardize on something.[1]
What I'm calling "format 1" would be best, but I know that NIH syndrome
dominates a lot of corporate software development.  And some elsewhere.

If I had to use macOS for some reason, I'd go out of my way to use xterm
rather than  Lack of man page hyperlinks is not a deal-
breaker for me personally.  I have not begun a campaign to talk Thomas
Dickey into supporting OSC 8 in xterm.  I do not expect it to be easy.

> > apropos(1) is not in groff's department.
> Right, sorry. I keep getting my wires crossed when discussing man(1)
> and Groff at onceā€¦

No worries.  I think a lot of people are fuzzy about the distinction, so
opportunities like this to set the record straight are to be seized. :)


[1] You can see that I'd be brilliant in corporate communications.

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