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Re: Warn on mid-input line sentence endings

From: G. Branden Robinson
Subject: Re: Warn on mid-input line sentence endings
Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2023 09:45:40 -0500

We're re-covering some familiar ground here.

I have a few points I'd like to make.

1.  "Semantic newlines" is a terrible term.  We should abandon it at
    once.  The detection of sentence boundaries is not restricted to
    newlines, and you *don't* want to warn on _those_, but on the ones
    that appear in the _midst_ of an input line.

2.  Bjarni's comment '"groff" is not the right tool for such things, but
    "grep" is.' is thoroughly wrong-headed and Ingo was right to reject
    it with great force.  Here a few reasons why.  I don't think any of
    B through D are relevant to mandoc(1) since it doesn't support the
    features in question (as far as I know).

    A.  The formatter decides where sentence boundaries are based on its

    B.  Use of the `cflags' request can change the characters that have
    sentence-ending semantics.  grep(1) cannot know this.

    C.  Sentence-ending characters are subject to character translation
    (the `tr` request).  grep(1) cannot know this.

    D.  The user/document could define a special character that is a
    sentence-ending character (with `char` and `cflags`).  grep(1)
    cannot know this.

3.  The artificial intelligence detecting sentence boundaries is already
    in the formatter; no one needs to add it.  Moreover, it was already
    present in AT&T troff.

Since this subject is a recurring trash fire, I should note one
development since last summer's discussion.  I would prefer now to lump
this feature into a new warning category called "style" because I have
thought of another couple of things to put in it.  I still mean to leave
this warning category disabled by default.  I will opt in to it in my
personal working environment.  Others might choose to follow.


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