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[Nmh-workers] manpage table help

From: Ken Hornstein
Subject: [Nmh-workers] manpage table help
Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2013 21:09:02 -0500

I've been working on a nmh manpage, and I've been reading docs/README.manpages,
and I'm a bit confused.  Specifically, by the stuff which sets up a table:

        .RS 5
        .ta \w'/rnd/phyl/Mail/EP 'u +\w'has ddd messages 'u +\w'(ddd\-ddd); 'u
        FOLDER  \0\0\0\0\0\0# MESSAGES  RANGE   CUR     (OTHERS)
        ff      has \0no messages.
        inbox+  has \016 messages       (\03\-\022);    cur=\05.
        mh      has \076 messages       (15\-\076);     cur=70.

Ok, I understand that ".PP" is new paragraph, ".RS" is an indent (although
I'm not sure what the units are), and .nf is "no fill".  And I understand
that .ta sets tab stops .... but I'm confused by the syntax.  Specifically,
what are the \w'/rnd/phyl/Mail/EP ' stuff (it doesn't even appear in
the output!), the 'u. and the +\w', etc etc.  I understand that after that
the cells are separated by tabs, but I don't understand waht the \0 is for.
Also ... why, exactly, do we use \- instead of -?

Sorry to sound like a n00b, but when I came to town there was always an
amazing lack of documentation on troff, so I never ended up using it.


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