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Re: [Groff] Re: begin page blues

From: Werner LEMBERG
Subject: Re: [Groff] Re: begin page blues
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2006 17:01:52 +0100 (CET)

> If you add to the prologue you do it because you want to use the
> same routine over an over, so one can not `compile-in
> runtime-parameters'.  I think that your example could be modified to
> do the right thing, but I would be loath to explain such a
> complicated thing to any user, let alone to a novice.

As mentioned, this is an artificial example -- just for you -- to
demonstrate what is possible.  It is by no means meant as something
useful :-)

> 1) We have seven \X structures and ... \Y structures.

???  You mean the `ps: xxx' entries to send commands special to the PS

>    SGI-Adobe-troff had only one, and that could well do everything,
>    including appending to the prologue, with no problem re parameter
>    handling.  That's a lot of distraction of attention and a lot of
>    explaining to do, and a lot of caveats.

Well, I tried to explain that SGI-troff uses a special version of \X
which is *not* compatible with AT&T troff.  groff has been designed as
a compatible replacement so the way SGI handles \X is not an option.
Additionally, groff is capable of addressing more than a single
device, thus having the `ps:' prefix.  Not surprisingly, there is, for
example, a `tty:' prefix to send special commands to the TTY device
driver, grotty.

All your other arguments are valid concerns but can't be fixed easily.
\X is not intended for the end-user IMHO; it should always be hidden
by a properly designed macro.  Regarding request versions for \X and
\Y (`device' and `devicem', respectively) I'm still waiting for a
reply from Gaius.

> Well, I don't expect anyone to re-write groff/grops any time soon,
> and you may even vehemently disagree with my points.  This is my two
> cents worth, and I hope that at some stage groff's PS will be
> greatly simplified.

The best solution would be to contribute a proper macro package,
something similar to pspic.tmac...


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