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Re: [Groff] Re: pic extension

From: Hartmut Henkel
Subject: Re: [Groff] Re: pic extension
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 2003 20:20:32 +0200 (CEST)

Perhaps one should caution the pic user about 2 points with this new

1. If consequently used, this is VERY expensive in terms of TeX
resources: Every new picture with new figname name occupies a new TeX
box. And there are only < 255 of them. If a user works from a library of
pictures, which he has tagged by default by individual fignames, a
medium-sized book can easily overflow TeX. Once used, the boxes are
gone, if not re-used by a picture with the same box name. Similar \box
assignments on such an easy user basis are IMHO normally not done in
TeX/LaTeX macro packages.

---> Use this feature sparsingly, and only if really needed. Don't tag
any picture by figname from now on.

2. figname = <any existing TeX macro or primitive> produces an error, as
it clashes with the macros by the \csname\endcsname mechanism. E. g.
figname = box gives an error.

---> Avoid any TeX/LaTeX macro name, e. g. make a mix of Large and small
letters and numbers, and you may be set...

And BTW having two or more figures side-by-side is easily possible
without the figname feature. Just write e. g.


and you got it. Working from this proven standard functionality, one is
still flexible enough to copy the box into another one to keep it for
later use...

I fear that the figname feature might introduce more trouble than it
might be worth, but all this frankly IMHO only.

Greetings Hartmut

On Mon, 21 Apr 2003, Werner LEMBERG wrote:

> > I have made an extension to pic that might be useful to other
> > people.  In standard pic, in TeX mode, the figure generated is
> > always named "graph".  This makes it impossible to define two or
> > more figures and then realize them together, e.g. side-by-side.  I
> > therefore added a keyword to pic that allows the user to specify the
> > name of the figure.  This allows side-by-side figures.  For example:
> >
> > .PS
> > figname=figone;
> > ...
> > .PE
> > .PS
> > figname=figtwo;
> > ...
> > .PE
> > \centerline{\box\figone\hss\box\figtwo}
> Based on your patch I've implemented that feature now, thanks.  Please
> try the CVS.

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