bugGNU troff - Bugs: bug #55278, src/devices/grotty/grotty.1.man,...


bug #55278: src/devices/grotty/grotty.1.man, doc/groff.texi updates

Submitted by:  Dave <barx>
Submitted on:  Tue 25 Dec 2018 12:26:00 AM UTC  
Category:  Core Severity:  3 - Normal
Item Group:  Documentation Status:  None
Privacy:  Public Assigned to:  None
Open/Closed:  Open Planned Release:  None

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Wed 02 Jan 2019 03:11:21 AM UTC, comment #1: 

Side note on point 1: There is also the question of what "supporting" this actually means.  One Android terminal app, for instance (specifically, JuiceSSH), renders text delineated with these escape sequences in reverse video.  This is arguably uglier than underlining, but the app does recognize the escape sequences and gamely tries to distinguish affected text.  So this app arguably supports it, even if the results aren't attractive.

Dave <barx>
Tue 25 Dec 2018 12:26:00 AM UTC, original submission:  

Three proposed documentation changes submitted for discussion.

1. src/devices/grotty/grotty.1.man

Part of the documentation for -i says "most terminals (including xterm) don't support this."

No doubt this was true when it was added (Feb 2002, commit e30e96cf2e61dc8dced25f426b7615573916eee4), but today it's not true of at least xterm or MacOS's Terminal.  Is it true of enough modern terminals to reduce it down to "many terminals" or "some terminals"?  Or should it just be removed altogether?

2. doc/groff.texi

Part of the documentation for -a says "this option is rather useless today since graphic output devices are available virtually everywhere."  This seems a needless bit of editorializing -- and of questionable accuracy: see threads starting at


For one, this sentence implies that -a output has no use besides as a poor substitute for graphical output.  And the ubiquity of graphic-output devices doesn't mean you're working in a session that has easy access to one (e.g., over ssh).

The simplest fix is to axe this sentence.  A better fix might be to give the user ideas on how the option enables tasks (e.g., allowing easy diffs of typeset output; grepping for widows; automated regression testing; probably more) that are difficult or impossible with PostScript and PDF output.

3. doc/groff.texi

Underlining by overstrike is described as "printing an underline character, then moving the caret back one character position, and printing the actual character at the same position as the underline character."

I'm betting "moving the caret back" was intended to say "moving the cursor back."  If so, probably shortening it to "moving back" is just as clear (and arguably more accurate, as there's no cursor involved).  Note that the prior wording of this phrase (changed in 58e63bf373fbf31765e62a0e05fab686ab395898) was exactly that.

Dave <barx>


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