Subject: Re: CVS commit: src/lib/libc/gen
To: M. Warner Losh <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: John Hawkinson <jhawk@MIT.EDU>
Date: 11/23/2003 12:22:51
M. Warner Losh <email@example.com> wrote on Sun, 23 Nov 2003
at 09:52:58 -0700 in <firstname.lastname@example.org>:
> : IIRC, "new sentence, new line" has always been a requirement for *roff
> : to process text correctly.
> That's what I was told when I asked why FreeBSD enforced such a rule.
> Maybe things have changed in roff-land since then...
[nt]roff would be a pretty laughable document preparation system if
you had to have a newline after every sentence. Can you honestly
imagine writing a paper or report that way?
It ("new sentence, new line") feels like a sick joke writing text for
I fear a "rule" like this discourages people from writing text with
any verbosity. That's part of why I dislike it so strongly.
(It also makes discourages me from filling my paragraphs, or even
thinking in paragraphs.)
I think the only grounding you'll find in the roff manual about this
is section 4 (Text Fillin, Adjusting, and Centering), subection 4.1
("Filling and adjusting"), 2nd paragraph:
| An input line ending with ., ?, or ! is taken to be the end of
| a sentence, and an additional space character is automatically
| provided during filling. Multiple inter-word space characters found
| in the input are retained, except for trailing spaces; initial
| spaces also cause a break.