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Re: [Groff] Macro "itc" is needed to make escape "\c" useful

From: G. Branden Robinson
Subject: Re: [Groff] Macro "itc" is needed to make escape "\c" useful
Date: Tue, 16 May 2017 04:26:21 -0400
User-agent: NeoMutt/20170113 (1.7.2)

At 2017-05-14T15:15:12+0200, Ingo Schwarze wrote:
> So far, i did not find any place in groff's documentation explaining
> that.  In groff(7), the description of \c is very vague.  While
> is considerably more detailed, it is still somewhat unclear, in
> particular because the concept of input text lines remains undefined
> (apparently, macro lines sometimes count as text lines, but this
> is neither said nor obvious) and because it is not completely clear
> what "continuation of the same input text line" means (apparently,
> a dot in the first column is still treated as a macro invocation,
> which it wouldn't be if it were on the same input line).

As best I can tell from experiments, \c means simply(!) "if \c is the
last token on the line, suppress any word break that would normally be
implied by the line break at the end of this line".

I've seen some cases of \c followed by ordinary trailing spaces on a
line in non-groff man pages, and that rendered the \c useless.

But I haven't worked up a suite of test cases to prove that my
interpretation is true in all contexts.

I find the description "Interrupt text processing." (groff(7)) almost
completlely uninformative.  CSTR #54 does better with "Connect to next
input text", but that's still confusing to me.  'Connect' might be a
useful mnemonic but unfortunately the idea is not further elucidated.


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