[torqueusers] TORQUE 2.3.5 Has Been Released

Morten Kjeldgaard mok at bioxray.au.dk
Fri Nov 21 04:19:22 MST 2008

Garrick Staples wrote:

>> 4) Finally, there is a large number of hyphen-used-as-minus errors in
>> the man pages, there's also a patch included to fix these issues.
> Is this really an error?  The manpages have been this way for many years
> without a problem.

Only in the sense that formatting can be "in error".

In nroff, the '-' character is a hyphen, i.e. the character that is
inserted at the end of a hyphenated word, or the character used to
separate parts of a word, as in "error-prone" (pun intended :-))

Similarly, the minus sign is represented as '\-'.

The ASCII character set doesn't contain many printable characters, but
troff provides many more characters and symbols for typesetting of
mathematics, for example.

In UNIX applications, options are prefixed with the minus character, so
when manpages mention options, they must be prefixed like this: '\-f' in
the nroff source. You won't notice the difference when viewing a manpage
in ASCII on a terminal, but it _will_ make a difference in a typeset,
printed version. Similarly, in LaTeX, the '-' character is typeset
differently when in text or math environments.

But, if you've only viewed manpages from a terminal you wouldn't have
noticed this "error" (even through many years :-))


PS: It is indeed inconvenient to have to use \- in man page documents,
because minus is used a lot in those. However, troff was developed
primarily as a tool for typesetting text: reports, books etc.

Morten Kjeldgaard, asc. professor, MSc, PhD
BiRC - Bioinformatics Research Center, Aarhus University
C. F. Møllers Alle, Building 1110, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.
Lab +45 8942 3130 * Fax +45 8942 3077 * Home +45 8618 8180
Mobile +45 5186 0147 * http://www.bioxray.au.dk/~mok

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