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Re: rethinking @def*

From: Werner LEMBERG
Subject: Re: rethinking @def*
Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2022 21:04:53 +0000 (UTC)

>> Compare this to a C library 'foo' that wants to have a stable ABI
>> for all of its functions, making older programs link and run
>> successfully with newer library versions: it is impossible to
>> change any public header files without breaking it.[*] Obviously, I
>> equate the ABI with texinfo's output formatting.
> That's here that we differ.  To me the ABI is more like the syntax,
> and the semantics, the formatting is the implementation.

Well, the original intention of `@def*` was the correct handling of
Lisp and C functions.  Nobody thought of, say, troff macros.  To make
this work correctly, it was necessary to rely on internal formatting
details.  In other words, there was no chance to rely on texinfo
semantic formatting alone.

As mentioned before, I'm no longer in groff business; I thus don't
know whether this is still as true as it was when I was the groff


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