em dashes in mdoc (was Re: Hello fdclose)

Benjamin Kaduk bjk at freebsd.org
Wed Mar 19 16:47:21 UTC 2014

[changing cc list dramatically]

On Wed, 19 Mar 2014, Bruce Evans wrote:

> On Tue, 18 Mar 2014, John Baldwin wrote:
>> @@ -84,7 +130,9 @@
>> .Sh NOTES
>> The
>> .Fn fclose
>> -function
>> +and
>> +.Fn fdclose
>> +functions
>> does not handle NULL arguments; they will result in a segmentation
>> violation.
>> This is intentional - it makes it easier to make sure programs written
> In the old version:
> Em-dash seems to be handled poorly by mdoc.  It seems to be necessary
> to hard code it.  It shouldn't be hard coded as a hyphen.

I seem to remember looking into mdoc's handling of em dashes a month or 
two ago, and concluding that mdoc did not handle em dashes at all.  That 
is, I did not see any macros that attempted to render as a dash of any 
type, so that the man page author is required to hard code a dash as 
either one or two (or three, I suppose) hyphens.

A scan of the prior art suggested that most existing instances use a 
single hyphen, and the double hyphen is quite rare.

Warren did note that it is probably best to write in a style that avoids 
the need for the em dash, which I cannot really argue against.

Bruce, do you have any details you can add about mdoc's interaction with 
em (or en) dashes?



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