Subject: New sentence, new line (was: CVS commit: src/lib/libc/gen)
To: M. Warner Losh <jhawk@MIT.EDU>
From: Greg 'groggy' Lehey <>
List: source-changes
Date: 11/24/2003 10:15:29
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On Sunday, 23 November 2003 at  9:52:58 -0700, M. Warner Losh wrote:
> In message: <>
>             Jason Thorpe <> writes:
>> On Nov 22, 2003, at 11:27 PM, John Hawkinson wrote:
>>> You really need to put this in our style guide (and get
>>> core/technical-exec buyoff) if you want developers to
>>> enforce it.
>> 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...

Hmm.  What I heard in the FreeBSD doc project that it was to minimize
repo bloat due to minor modifications to the text.  That makes about
as much sense as the explanation you heard.  In any case, I've been
using *roff for document preparation for over ten years, and I've
never seen any problems with sentence spacing.  And no, I'm not
picking on the messenger, just observing.

On Sunday, 23 November 2003 at 12:22:51 -0500, John Hawkinson wrote:
> It ("new sentence, new line") feels like a sick joke writing text for
> manpages.
> I fear a "rule" like this discourages people from writing text with
> any verbosity. That's part of why I dislike it so strongly.

I don't follow this.  My reason for disliking it is that it's an
artificial obfuscation.  Normally text is written in roughly
even-length lines, and this rule breaks it.  But I didn't complain in
the FreeBSD project, and I'm not complaining here.

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