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Re: [Groff] Heirloom TBL problem

From: Mike Bianchi
Subject: Re: [Groff] Heirloom TBL problem
Date: Mon, 22 Jun 2015 10:29:14 -0400
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)

On Mon, Jun 22, 2015 at 09:02:16AM -0500, Blake McBride wrote:
> I have been using troff on and off since 1983.  I know all that.
> The macro packages act as a higher level API but almost never completely
> duplicates all of the lower level commands.  Surely you don't want to
> conflict with a macro package that assumes it has control over a certain
> parameter, but likewise one must use the lower level API when attempting to
> do something the macro package had no need to encapsulate.
> A.  MM has no clear way to set ll

I disagree.
>From groff_mm(7) ...
       PGFORM [linelength [pagelength [pageoffset [1]]]]
              Set line length, page length, and/or page  offset.   This  macro
              can be used for special formatting, like letter heads and other.
              It is normally the first command in a file,  though  it  is  not
              necessary.  PGFORM can be used without arguments to reset every‐
              thing after a MOVE call.  A line break is done unless the fourth
              argument is given.  This can be used to avoid the page number on
              the first page while setting new width and length.  (It seems as
              if  this macro sometimes doesn't work too well.  Use the command
              line arguments to change line length, page length, and page off‐
              set instead.)


   W      Line length, only for command line settings.

> B.  Tbl clearly understands ll with MM in groff, and it makes sense.

Yes, tbl(1) does understand  .ll , but within any macro package, such as MM,
 .ll  will be set and manipulated by the macro package.
Consider MM's  .2C  two-column macro.

If there is something to be fixed in MM, it would involve making the warning
within the  .PGFORM  dcoumentation  unnecessary.

 Mike Bianchi

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