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[Groff] Fancy tbl tricks

From: Roger Leigh
Subject: [Groff] Fancy tbl tricks
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 20:29:31 +0000
User-agent: Gnus/5.1003 (Gnus v5.10.3) Emacs/21.3 (gnu/linux)

I'd like to write a database "report writer" that outputs troff -ms
code.  One of the features of most commercial report writers is the
stuff you can do with tabular data.  For example, a table might span
several pages, and you might want to:

· print the total(s) after a table of numbers
· have subtotals at the bottom of each page prior to a table break
· have the subtotal carried forward at the top of the next page
  after the table headings.
· have the headers/footer with ranges in.  For example, if creating a
  telephone directory, you might want a range of surnames (ABO-BLA)
  taken from the first and last lines in the table on that page.

I'm still very new to troff macro programming, so I'd just like to
know if this is actually possible.  I can do this within the report
generator, but it would be really cool if I could delegate it to troff
(and it means I don't need to know the page length and manually do
table and page breaks, so it should be a better solution, too).

I did find a troff preprocessor called "math-1.0.0" in a 1993 usenet
post that did this type of thing for the maths part (totals etc.), but
I've not tried it out yet.  Has anyone used this, or know of any


Roger Leigh

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