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Re: [Groff] Bug in -mdoc `Bl -column' or I'm not getting something.

From: Tadziu Hoffmann
Subject: Re: [Groff] Bug in -mdoc `Bl -column' or I'm not getting something.
Date: Mon, 10 May 2010 21:13:00 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.17 (2007-11-01)

> Consider the following,
>  .Bl -column asdfasdf asdfasdf asdfasdf
>  .It a ) ] ;<TAB>b ) ] ;<TAB>c ) ;
>  .El
> where <TAB> is a tab.  Why does this produce the following:
>  a]) ;       b]) ;       c]);
>    ^^^         ^^^
> In words, each column's last closing-punctuation is buffered by a space,
> while prior ones aren't.  This happens with any sequence ") ) ]" etc.
> Shouldn't this really do
>  a ] ) ;     b ] ) ;     c]);
> since <TAB>-separated lines are supposed to behave like columnar real
> lines and only the closing terms are adjusted?
> Is this a bug or intentional behaviour?

I'm not familiar with mdoc, but after playing around a bit it
seems to me that the behavior has nothing to do with parentheses
or brackets but rather with how the argument list is being
parsed.  In troff, macro arguments are space-separated, so
in your case the item macro "It" does not see ";" and "b" as
separate arguments, but rather as only one argument ";<tab>b",
which is not recognized as punctuation.  If you precede and
follow the tab character by a space, or if you use "Ta" as a
separate argument instead of the tab character as a "next-column"
indicator, everything works as intended.

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