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Re: groff/-mandoc replacement

On Sun Mar 01 2009 at 22:07:57 +0100, Kristaps DÅonsons wrote:
> >We have a few man pages with tables, and while I'm not too worried about
> >them, adding very simple tbl support might be worthwhile.  See queue(3)
> >for an example.
> Antti, I'm running into the same issue elsewhere -- tbl, that is.  But 
> what's the advantage, in terms of manuals already existing in base, of 
> perpetuating tbl versus "Bl -column"?  Would it not be simpler to 
> re-write these existing sections to use columns?  Apparently, older 
> groffs had a two- or three-column limit.  This isn't the case with mdoc(3).
> In fact, the mdoc(3) "-column" support, being tested in my local copy, 
> has a superset of groff's functionality: it lets full macro "lines", 
> like `Qq', exist in each column.

Oh, if you can do it in mdoc, great!

> >We also have a few non-mdoc documents in src.  Again, I am not too
> >worried about these and we could move them to pkgsrc if we rip out groff.
> Are new base manuals being written in non-mdoc?  Old ones can be pretty 
> easily re-written.

Not manuals, but stuff e.g. in share/doc that use ms/me.

Note that this affects only the "base without groff" argument, not mdocml
per se.

> groff for mdoc only.  I'm fond of mdoc because it annotates the meaning 
> of macro arguments instead of merely their style (like the other macro 
> packages).  The mdocml mdoc(3) "intermediate form", unlike groff's, 
> encodes this information, which allows for all sorts of useful things:
>  - quickly building an index of all functions in .3 manuals
>  -                               ...executable names
>  -                               ...etc.
> This is already possible, if one wants to build such a frontend for mdoc(3).

Oh that's a cool option!

Thinking out loud: I wonder if it would be possible to use an asciified
version of your intermediate form directly as the basis for a new mdoc
markup language?

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