help / color / mirror / Atom feed
From: "Anthony J. Bentley" <>
Subject: Re: manpages patch: escape apostrophe, grave, tilde
Date: Mon, 23 Mar 2015 00:21:46 -0600	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

Hi Ingo,

Ingo Schwarze writes:
> Hi Anthony,
> Anthony J. Bentley wrote on Sat, Mar 21, 2015 at 03:30:53AM -0600:
> > Both groff and Heirloom troff transform the following characters in
> > typeset output such as -Tpdf:
> > 
> >   transforms ` into U+2018 (left single quote)
> >   transforms ' into U+2019 (right single quote)
> >   transforms ~ into U+02DC (small tilde)
> > 
> > (Plan 9 and mandoc only do the first two.)
> > 
> > These, particularly the second one, are desirable when used in prose.
> > But when the original ASCII character is meant (such as when listing
> > command-line input, or describing how to escape characters), it must
> > be escaped to provide correct output in all formats.
> I hate this.  It is backwards, i consider it a bug in troff.

I wouldn't call it a bug. Converting ' to an apostrophe is a very
natural thing for a typesetter to do, and troff has done so since the
mid 1970s if not earlier. The vast majority of uses of ', even in
manuals, are in prose, not code examples that need a literal ASCII '.
Escaping the few instances where it is necessary is not a huge burden.

I do care about PDF output. In fact for at least five years I've often
referred to groff's PDF output when looking at manuals because it
provides a greater visual distinction between different types of
semantic input than the terminal, or even mandoc HTML output.

Anthony J. Bentley
 To unsubscribe send an email to

      reply	other threads:[~2015-03-23  6:21 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 3+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2015-03-21  9:30 Anthony J. Bentley
2015-03-21 20:01 ` Ingo Schwarze
2015-03-23  6:21   ` Anthony J. Bentley [this message]

Reply instructions:

You may reply publicly to this message via plain-text email
using any one of the following methods:

* Save the following mbox file, import it into your mail client,
  and reply-to-all from there: mbox

  Avoid top-posting and favor interleaved quoting:

* Reply using the --to, --cc, and --in-reply-to
  switches of git-send-email(1):

  git send-email \ \ \ \

* If your mail client supports setting the In-Reply-To header
  via mailto: links, try the mailto: link
Be sure your reply has a Subject: header at the top and a blank line before the message body.
This is a public inbox, see mirroring instructions
for how to clone and mirror all data and code used for this inbox;
as well as URLs for NNTP newsgroup(s).