single quotes in the manpage

Wayne Davison wayned at
Sat May 17 07:34:08 EST 2003

On Thu, May 15, 2003 at 10:20:16AM +0200, Paul Slootman wrote:
> In the manpage, all occurrences of a single quote (or apostrophe) are
> preceded by a backslash.

I just remembered that different versions of yodl handle apostrophes
differently.  Debian has a patch that makes apostrophes get output as
"\&'" instead of just "\'".  Because of this our man pages have had a
history of the & bouncing back and forth being being present and absent.
Currently, they are absent, and that appears to be a mistake that I'll

I'm not entirely sure what effect this sequence has (\& is a zero-width
character which has several different side-effects).

As for why we're using yodl in the first place:

I'm afraid I don't know the history, but I imagine that someone wanted a
more flexible primary document language that would allow us to output
HTML (etc.) from a single source file.  I've never been all that
thrilled with yodl, but I haven't yet run across something that is
particularly better (if anyone else has, feel free to suggest something


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