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Re: [Groff] Proposal for raster graphics extensions to gpic

From: Egil Kvaleberg
Subject: Re: [Groff] Proposal for raster graphics extensions to gpic
Date: 17 Nov 2002 21:32:17 +0100

On Sun, 2002-11-17 at 20:49, Ralph Corderoy wrote:
> Hi Egil,
> > I really would want to see images done via gpic.
> What's your answer to the issue of not wanting to use pic, or pic not
> being compatible with another preprocessor that is being used?
> troff should provide the facility.  Then raw troff writers can use it.
> Macro writers can use it.  Preprocessor writers can use it.
> pic alone is the wrong place.

It is impossible to implement images in pic alone, because pic is a
preprocessor to troff. Which means that images must also appear and be
implemented in groff.

But my idea is that pic should be the preferred, easy, structured and
versatile way. 

> We don't *have* to draw lines with pic.  tbl doesn't have to rely on pic
> for its line drawing.  pic makes use of troff's line-drawing facilities.
> So does tbl.
> It should be the same for pixel images.

Oh, but it is. See above.

> If you're a big pic fan perhaps it's colouring your view?

No, I have not used pic directly a lot. But I have used pic indirectly
for a while via converted xfig images. That has been a very good

The idea is to use the right tool for the job. It is possible to build
tables directly in groff, but tbl does it so much better, so tbl is the
right tool for the job. Similar with images of any kind. (g)pic is the
right tool for making vector graphicsm and my idea was that with a few
extensions it could also become the *right* tool for raster images.

It is more a question of intuition. I have used groff and related roffs
for well over 20 years. I even implemented an nroff clone for CP/M many,
many years ago, for use with daisy wheel printers. I think I can say
that this experience has given me a "feel" of how roffs should be.

Without going into detail*, I can safely say that I feel the current
mechanism of including images does not coincide with how I feel groff
should look like.

I had a recent experience preparing a 560 page book containing many
raster images with groff, and after that experience I sat down and asked
myself how it should be.

* I think I have now spent two or three times as much time arguing on
the groff mailing list than coding. I think I'm going into coding and
take-it-or-leave-it mode now...
Email: address@hidden  
Voice/videophone: +47 22523641 Voice: +47 92022780 Fax: +47 22525899
Mail:  Egil Kvaleberg, Husebybakken 14A, 0379 Oslo, Norway

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