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bin/50569: mandoc man page oddity
>Synopsis: mandoc man page oddity
>Arrival-Date: Thu Dec 17 13:40:00 +0000 2015
>Originator: Robert Elz
>Release: NetBSD 7.99.21 (I think anything recent with mandoc.1)
Prince of Songkla University
System: NetBSD andromeda.noi.kre.to 7.99.21 NetBSD 7.99.21 (VBOX64-1.1-20150829) #3: Sun Aug 30 07:16:17 ICT 2015 kre%andromeda.noi.kre.to@localhost:/home/kre/src/current-kernel/usr/src/sys/arch/amd64/compile/VBOX64 amd64
The man page for mandoc (mandoc.1) says (right at the end, under CAVEATS)
The `'' control character is an alias for the standard macro control
character and does not emit a line-break as stipulated in GNU troff.
I'll repeat that annotated...
The `'' control character
That is, when ' (single quote, apostrophe, 0x27 ascii) is used
as a macro call character (column 1)
is an alias for the standard macro control character
That is, . (dot, point, period, full-stop, 0x2E ascii)
So far that would be fine, but ...
and does not emit a line-break as stipulated in GNU troff.
is exactly backwards. I can't believe that even GNU troff (groff)
scrambled troff syntax that much ... but . as an intro to some macro
requests in *roff causes a line break, using ' supresses that effect,
which is exactly the opposite of what this man page suggests.
For users of mandoc, it should make no difference (which is why I
believe this s a doc bug, not a program bug) as macro calls themselves
don't cause line breaks, so whether one uses . or ' to invoke them
makes no difference at all (the macro may cause a line break, or not,
regardless of how it is called). Since madoc doesn't actually
implement macros as such (I believe) it is perfectly OK for . and '
to be treated the same (not that anyone is likely to ever actually use ')
but the man page really ought not confuse people about what *roff
s/emit a/supress the/
(probably). Adding a caveat to the caveat about how it really
doesn't matter wouldn't hurt... Or just delete the whole
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