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Re: Warn on semantic newlines

From: Douglas McIlroy
Subject: Re: Warn on semantic newlines
Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2023 10:02:19 -0400

I oppose loading groff down with AI. Recall the angst of \s, where
\s30 summoned huge type and \s40 tiny.

I have enough battles with Word and its imitators trying to outguess
me*, or  with Tex throwing a tantrum about paragraphs that it deems
unaesthetic. I am much happier with groff, which in general obediently
does what you tell it to. The big exception is hyphenation, and see
how much mechanism exists to support that one small feature and how
many info screens are needed to describe it.

"Semantic newline" warnings are relatively innocuous. The occasional
pitch on this mailing list for paragraph awareness is far less so. Bad
things happen when "prettiness" overrides predictability and one has
to psych out the AI to fix the trouble.


* Truth be told, some of the idiocy is fun to complain about. My
all-time favorite is Open Office inferring that my name, M. Douglas
McIlroy, is the beginning of a numbered paragraph and carrying on to
number the following paragraphs MI, MII, MIII, ...

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