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Re: [Groff] empty line before .TH in man page produces sometimes

From: Ted Harding
Subject: Re: [Groff] empty line before .TH in man page produces sometimes
Date: Mon, 02 Oct 2006 11:10:42 +0100 (BST)

On 01-Oct-06 Clarke Echols wrote:
> ABSOLUTELY NO LINES, other than genuine troff/groff comment lines
> should appear in a man page file before the .TH line.  You do *not*
> want troff/groff interpreting *anything* before it encounters the
> .TH macro call because .TH sets up page boundaries, end-of-page
> traps, and a bunch of other stuff that you want fully established
> and settled before you start interpreting text.  This has been the
> case for decades.

There is a (typically cryptic) warning about this way back in
the original documentation. E.g.

  CSTR 54 "Troff User's Manual" (Ossanna and Kernighan)

Section 3, Page Control: "... A pseudo-page transition onto
the first page occurs either when the first break occurs
or when the first non-diverted text processing occurs."

This is in the context of a discussion of traps, going on
to say "Arrangements for a trap to occur at the top of the
first page must be completed before this transition."

Nevertheless, it is a general warning, since a "transition
onto the first page" will automatically set up the default
page length, page number, page offset, line length, baseline
spacing and line spacing. And this, as Clarke emphasises,
may not be what you want!


E-Mail: (Ted Harding) <address@hidden>
Fax-to-email: +44 (0)870 094 0861
Date: 02-Oct-06                                       Time: 11:10:38
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