bugGNU roff - Bugs: bug #57622, drop doc-old.tmac-u from groff...

 
 

bug #57622: drop doc-old.tmac-u from groff distribution

Submitter:  Bjarni Ingi Gislason <bjarniig>
Submitted:  Fri 17 Jan 2020 07:33:15 PM UTC
   
 
Category:  Macro mdoc Severity:  1 - Wish
Item Group:  Feature change Status:  Confirmed
Privacy:  Public Assigned to:  schwarze
Open/Closed:  Open Planned Release:  None
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Mon 27 Dec 2021 08:26:53 AM UTC, comment #8: 

...insofar as removal of obsolete code is a "New feature."  It's the best fit of the available Item Groups, though.

Dave <barx>
Group Member
Sun 23 May 2021 07:31:28 AM UTC, comment #7: 

Sigh.  I really hate how the Savannah website forgets changes to fields other than "New Comment" when previewing a comment.

G. Branden Robinson <gbranden>
Group administrator
Sun 23 May 2021 07:29:51 AM UTC, comment #6: 



comment #5:

> I don't have an opinion on doc-old.tmac in particular, but I agree with the general sentiment that code distributed with modern groff releases should be intended to be used.  So any code not fitting that expectation could reasonably be removed.


Thanks, Dave.

That's three votes in favor of mothballing it, all from regular development list participants.  That's a roaring consensus by our sleepy standards.
 

> If appropriate, maybe a line in the release notes could explain how to retrieve the last version of the file from git, or whatever archive seems most definitive.


Yes; I think noting it in the NEWS file ("for reconstruction of historical documents") could point people to the groff 1.22.4 release archive for that--that's going to be readily available for many years, judging by <https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/groff/old/>.  (Even the non-"old" release archives date back to 2009.)

Ingo, would you like to do the removal honors?  I can field the NEWS thing.

G. Branden Robinson <gbranden>
Group administrator
Sun 23 May 2021 06:24:10 AM UTC, comment #5: 

I don't have an opinion on doc-old.tmac in particular, but I agree with the general sentiment that code distributed with modern groff releases should be intended to be used.  So any code not fitting that expectation could reasonably be removed.

If appropriate, maybe a line in the release notes could explain how to retrieve the last version of the file from git, or whatever archive seems most definitive.

Dave <barx>
Group Member
Fri 07 Feb 2020 01:49:02 AM UTC, comment #4: 

  Instead of removing the line  "..",
make it a comment line with an explanation,
something like:

.\" The original line '..' was commented out
.\" to avoid a warning about an
.\" undefined macro,
.\" and to preserve it for historical reasons.

Bjarni Ingi Gislason <bjarniig>
Tue 04 Feb 2020 01:44:34 PM UTC, comment #3: 

I don't object at all to deleting the doc-old macro package (better known as mdoc version 2 from 4.3BSD-Reno) completely from the groff distribution.  Branden has a point that the current groff distribution is not a museum.

While i'm certainly a fan of Cynthias good work, the version 3 of mdoc that she completed a few years later is much better and in general use now.  Version 2 is definitely no longer useful for formatting documents.

Is it OK with you that i delete doc-old from the distribution?

Ingo Schwarze <schwarze>
Group Member
Tue 04 Feb 2020 07:36:04 AM UTC, comment #2: 

I'm not sure I agree with this being closed.

My opinion:

The GNU roff codebase is not supposed to be a museum.

Our macro packages should exhibit exemplary style (literally, serve as good examples) insofar as we are aware and able to make them.

If there is more value in keeping mdoc-old frozen as an exhibit than in serving as macro package for formatting documents even if the user has the warnings dialed way the hell up, then I submit that it would be better to drop it from the groff distribution.  Let other implementations be in the archaeological exhibit business.  Certainly there are plenty of moribund SourceForge, GitHub, and even Apache Software Foundation projects (<cough>Apache Open Office</cough>) fitting this description.

My preference would be to re-open the ticket and fix it.

Ingo and I have weighed in; would anyone else like to?

G. Branden Robinson <gbranden>
Group administrator
Sat 18 Jan 2020 04:06:47 PM UTC, comment #1: 

doc-old.tmac is not a macro set that is intended for practical use.
The file is merely documenting Cynthia's historical version 2 of the mdoc macros as they appeared in 4.3BSD-Reno (1990).
They were already totally obsolete in 4.4BSD and no documents using them remained in any operating system after 1993.  The grand total of documents ever using them was extremely small in the first place, probably less than 200.

If there is value in retaining the file at all, then it is in retaining it with as few changes as possible.

Ingo Schwarze <schwarze>
Group Member
Fri 17 Jan 2020 07:33:15 PM UTC, original submission:  


From 3b96b21c1fead1d92eb658bffe25411bb800fa9d Mon Sep 17 00:00:00 2001
From: Bjarni Ingi Gislason <bjarniig@rhi.hi.is>
Date: Fri, 17 Jan 2020 19:19:49 +0000
Subject: [PATCH] doc-old.tmac-u: Remove a superfluous "end of a macro" (..)

  "nroff -ww doc-old.tmac-u" reports on standard error:

troff: doc-old.tmac-u:273: warning: macro '.' not defined

Signed-off-by: Bjarni Ingi Gislason <bjarniig@rhi.hi.is>
---
 tmac/doc-old.tmac-u | 1 -
 1 file changed, 1 deletion(-)

diff --git a/tmac/doc-old.tmac-u b/tmac/doc-old.tmac-u
index ddb782f7..ef597d97 100644
--- a/tmac/doc-old.tmac-u
+++ b/tmac/doc-old.tmac-u
@@ -270,7 +270,6 @@
 .if n \{\
 .ad l
 .na
-..
 .\}
 .\" PREDEFINED STRINGS
 .if t \{\
--
2.24.1


Bjarni Ingi Gislason <bjarniig>

 

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    Follow 11 latest changes.

    Date Changed by Updated Field Previous Value => Replaced by
    2021-12-27 barx Item GroupWarning/Suspicious behaviour Feature change
    2021-05-23 gbranden Summary[PATCH] doc-old.tmac-u: Remove a superfluous &quot;end of a macro&quot; (..) drop doc-old.tmac-u from groff distribution
    2021-05-23 gbranden StatusNone Confirmed
    2020-07-25 gbranden CategoryMacro - others/general Macro mdoc
    2020-02-04 schwarze StatusRejected None
        Open/ClosedClosed Open
    2020-01-18 schwarze CategoryMacro mdoc Macro - others/general
        Severity3 - Normal 1 - Wish
        StatusNone Rejected
        Assigned toNone schwarze
        Open/ClosedOpen Closed

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