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Re: [Groff] Strange error messages from Groff 1.22.3

From: Werner LEMBERG
Subject: Re: [Groff] Strange error messages from Groff 1.22.3
Date: Sat, 08 Nov 2014 14:36:35 +0100 (CET)

>   groff -t -man man\man1\chem.1 > man\cat1\chem.1
>   <standard input>:4: name expected (got a node): treated as missing
>   <standard input>:0: warning: numeric expression expected (got `a')
>   <standard input>:550: name expected (got a node): treated as missing
>   <standard input>:410: warning: numeric expression expected (got `a')
> These come from the .lf directives, like this one:
>   .lf 1 man\man1\chem.1

This is a feature of GNU troff (and I guess that other troff
implementations are doing it similarly): Arguments of `.lf' are
handled the normal troff way, including expansion.  For example, you
might write

  .ds foo /usr/local
  .lf 1 \*[foo]

A side consequence is that stuff like `\m' is interpreted as escape

> One possible solution to this is to convert all backslashes to
> forward slashes '/' when writing the .lf directive.

This would be the best solution, I think.

> Unfortunately, there are quite a few places where .lf is emitted,
> [...]

Indeed.  I guess that gnulib already offers a canonical function to
convert file names into a standard form with forward slashes, so it's
unfortunate that we are bitten by this problem right now since we will
switch to standard autotools in the very near future (cf. branch


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