[TUHS] fmt(1): history, POSIX, -t, -c

Rob Pike robpike at gmail.com
Thu May 28 23:08:39 AEST 2020

I looked in my manuals. Fmt(1) first appears in Research 9th edition. I
have vague memories that it was written by Tom Duff, but a) I could
misremember and b) I also have vague memories it was not original. If both
memories are accurate, it's just a simple command written in two different
places, one being a distorted echo of another. Much like the make td wrote
at UofT after hearing about Stu's.

Nothing nefarious.


On Thu, May 28, 2020 at 10:41 PM markus schnalke <meillo at marmaro.de> wrote:

> Hoi,
> personally I use fmt(1) a lot for email formatting and such.
> Typically I only use the `-w' parameter. Now someone asked me about
> `-t' and `-c' of *GNU* fmt(1). I wasn't able to find good documentation
> on them. The manpage only tells that they have to do with different
> indentation for the first or first two lines. But what are the use
> cases? How would source text for these parameters look like?
> A look into the description and rationale sections of POSIX, which
> often provides helpful information, was not possible because fmt(1)
> is not part of POSIX (only fold(1) is). Why's that? Is it because
> fmt(1) differs so much between Unix implementations? On BSD `-c'
> centers text and `-t' sets tab widths. Plan 9 has none of these
> options. But still, `-w' could have been standardized. Or was the
> line filling algorithm different as well? How does fold(1) fit into
> the picture?
> Maybe you can answer some of these questions or give hints on where
> I could find answers myself.
> meillo
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://minnie.tuhs.org/pipermail/tuhs/attachments/20200528/d93527d0/attachment.htm>

More information about the TUHS mailing list