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[Groff] refer help

From: Peter Schaffter
Subject: [Groff] refer help
Date: Fri, 3 Sep 2010 20:38:45 -0400
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.20 (2009-06-14)

Any refer experts out there?  I'm overhauling mom's refer handling
to make it fully MLA compliant, and I've encountered two issues.

The first is that refer doesn't appear to recognize named glyphs in
a refer database, eg "Encyclop\[ae]dia Britannica" comes out as
"Encyclop dia Britannica" and "Antoine de St-Exup\['e]ry" as
"Antoine de St-Exup ry".  Is there a solution to this,
or a known workaround?

The second is that MLA style dictates that when citing two or more
works by the same author in a bibliography, the author's name, after
the first occurrence, should be replaced by a long dash or three
hyphens, eg

  Blow, Joe.  _His First Novel_.  City: Publisher, date.

  ---.  _His Second Novel_.  City: Publisher, date.

Is there a refer command to accomplish this?  I've studied
man refer upside-down and sideways but can't seem to find one.

If there isn't one, I've come up with an icky kludge:

.char \[duplicate] \v'-.3m'\l'3m'\v'.3m'\& \"Define the long dash
blow first
blow second
%A \C'Blow2'\[duplicate]

The replacement %A field in the second entry requires a name for
sorting purposes, but the name has to be reliably hidden from
output, so I need an escape that does nothing whatsoever when you
plug in an arbitrary string, and furthermore emits no error message.
Is \C the best choice, or is there another?

Peter Schaffter

Author of The Binbrook Caucus

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