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[Groff] three questions on m.tmac, escapes and locale

From: Robert Suetterlin
Subject: [Groff] three questions on m.tmac, escapes and locale
Date: Fri, 9 Aug 2002 15:07:11 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/

Hello everybody,

        I'm new to groff. After reading the manuals, browsing the web and
hassling some --- so far very helpfull --- guys, I understood that this
might be the best place to put questions.

I have some background in (La)TeX --- which I really quite like for
preparing papers to (American) Journals.  But it has three major problems:
package size, execution time and no nice -Tlatin1 output.

I came to look after groff, because:  It seemed to be provided out of the
box by my basic OS (FreeBSD), complete (better yet extensible), small
and fast.  And I really liked what nroff did to UNIX man pages for decades.

Now.  My first project was a simple letter I had to write.  And a short
survey produced ``m.tmac'' to be just the right macro package.  I failed
to use the package correctly, and still don't know how to handle things
correctly.  So I collected my three most urgent questions:

1)  How can I get Text Escapes --- e.g. ``\(:a'' for german Umlaut รค
(Latex \"a) --- inside .WA / .WE (or .IA / .IE).  Everything in there seems
to be used literally.

2) I looked at mmse to produce a similar mmde.  But in the process found out,
that by setting @language to de, mm (or mmse, mmde) would source
mm/de_locale.  So why shouldn't I use de_locale to have all the
differences and just put ``.ds @language de'' in the top of my rof files
containing german documents.  Or asking the other way round, what should
be put into mm/locale, or mm/lang_locale?
        BTW why is there no central repository for localized versions of
        this macro?  I guess there must be like a hundret german users who all
        have their own hand made macros.

3) How does groff (troff) parse its input ... concerning Posix locale?
How does troff know that 0xe4 in my rof source should be a \(:a in Times
Roman Latin1 font.  And if troff knows about LC_ALL (and thus
/usr/share/locale/xx_XX.spec) can I use the information stored in those
locales (like Names of Months, date format, monetary style, etc.) inside

Sincerely, Robert S.

Robert Suetterlin (address@hidden)
phone: (+49)89 / 30000-3546   fax: (+49)89 / 30000-3950

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