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Re: [Groff] Heirloom TBL problem

From: carsten . kunze
Subject: Re: [Groff] Heirloom TBL problem
Date: Sat, 20 Jun 2015 22:52:01 +0200 (CEST)

> 1.  I do use Heirloom troff and I often use MM.

This is a statement.  So heirloom MM will be changed now.

> 2.  The current behavior is wrong, period.  The fact that changes are being
> made to Heirloom at all proves that it isn't a think of absolute perfection
> - not to be touched.  If this issue were reported back when MM was being
> developed, they would have fixed it.

Bug fixes and necessary changes are done of course.

I still wonder why something like MS's \n(LL had not been passed to MM.  I 
don't think it simply had been forgotten.  It could have to do with typography 
rules.  Such rules are not made typography experts who know themselfes best 
what to do.  But they keep general authors from creating bad looking documents.

> 3.  The proposed solutions are awkward, unnatural, and something one has to
> constantly remember.
> I think either tbl should use the .ll value, or the W register _after_ the
> load and _without_ having to set it from the command line.  .ll works with
> MM in Heirloom and groff.  Tbl should too.  It doesn't make sense to
> require all kinds of hoops just to get something as basic as .ll to work.

These basics are expected to work when you don't use a macro package.  When 
using a macro package they are in control by the macro package and must not be 
used directly.  MS explicitly states that only a few (8 I think) named request 
are compatible with MS.  I never did use MM but I assume that using .ll in a MM 
document is bad style.

The interface to .ll is \nW or .PGFORM.  At first my plan was to implement 
.PGFORM.  But *maybe* using W like MS's LL could also make sense.  But for 
compatibility with groff .PGFORM should be prefered. (?)


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