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Re: [Groff] condition: OR of two string comparisons

From: Ralph Corderoy
Subject: Re: [Groff] condition: OR of two string comparisons
Date: Sun, 23 Nov 2014 11:43:23 +0000

Hi Carsten,

> > I'm interested in better expressions, string and numeric.  It's poor
> > string expressions that got us into this via 'c'a'b'c'd'e'.
> (BTW: I don't know the semantic of 'c'a'b'c'd'e' ... :-)

(It's a proposed syntax for "is 'c' either 'a', 'b', 'c', 'd', or 'e'".)

> The result of a string compare is a boolean value which is comparable
> to the result of \\nA>5.

What about string expressions that give strings as results?  And having
`.ds' take a new-format expression?

> The input language is the main criticism of roff today (by users who
> use LaTeX or GUI tools).  Their argument vanishes with a comfortable
> macro package.  That can hide nearly anything from the complicated low
> level language.  So MOM is the interface to new users, not the .if
> statement.

I'm fed up pointing out in different emails this is about having some of
those new mom-using users step across into troff:

    If we're to have them step beyond the friendly macro package into
    doing a bit of troff, getting involved, helping keep interest going,
    perhaps specialised macros or preprocessors, or adding troff
    backends to other tools, then a nicer syntax for control flow and
    expressions would lower the hurdle.

    It is all about the attraction of new users because we want some of
    them to move from the novice set to the intersection.  As I tried to
    make clear in that paragraph you quoted, still above to re-read,
    this is about getting some of those new users to step across from a
    macro set with the odd trivial .if testing a number register set on
    the command line to all the other things a small thriving troff
    community needs.

Where would LaTeX be without the many users that do step beyond it into
TeX to write extra packages that do all kinds of different things?

I expect the list is just as fed up.  So I'll stop.

Cheers, Ralph.

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