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Subject: Re: [docbook-apps] Refentry, man pages, and DocBook XSL 1.69.0

"W. Borgert" <debacle@debian.org> writes:

> On Tue, Jul 26, 2005 at 10:55:44AM +0900, Michael Smith wrote:
> > did it for a reason (see below).  However, if you (or anybody
> > else) feel strongly that the old behavior should be restored as
> > the default, I will consider changing it back for the next
> > release. Let me know.
> The defaults (hyphenation off, right justify off) are not
> beautiful, but very useful.  IMHO, keep them.

Thanks. I've also gotten some messages off-list in favor of
keeping them off.

So I'd be reluctant to change it back unless somebody can provide
a compelling reason (beyond just the fact that man pages have
always been justified and hyphenated by default).

One thing I'm particularly concerned about is how groff and older
nroff/troff versions (AT&T troff) handle hyphenation for
non-English languages. Given that there seem to be some problems
with how well the various roffs handle English hyphenation (as
compared to, say, TeX), my guess is that it may not be handled
very well at all for some other languages. Meaning that you can
end up with man pages with a significant number of words that
don't get hyphenated but should be, which in turn would result in
many lines with a lot of excessive whitespace between words.

So, keeping hyphenation and justification off seems to me to
ensure that your man pages are always going to be readable,
without instances of excessive, distracting whitespace -- though
they may not end up looking as pretty as they would if they were
right justified and hyphenated properly.



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