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Re: troff Memorandum Macros documentation derived from the paper "MM - M

From: G. Branden Robinson
Subject: Re: troff Memorandum Macros documentation derived from the paper "MM - Memorandum Macros"
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 2021 00:51:42 +1000
User-agent: NeoMutt/20180716

Hi, James!

At 2021-07-20T10:19:26-0400, James K. Lowden wrote:
> I find very little need to use troff requests; most everything I need
> is provided by ms.  Exceptions are auto-incrementing registers for
> numbered lists, and .fzoom to shrink monospace fonts. I do find the
> quote macros in ms clunky: 
>       \*Q\&Now is the time that tries men's souls\*U. 

I'll be addressing this point in my revision of Larry Kollar's

Long story short, you don't really need these quotation macros because
of groff's larger glyph repertoire, and if you wanted them anyway, to
abstract away the precise quotation style for localization purposes (if
you expect your document to be translated, for instance), you could use
groff's interpolation style to avoid having to inject the \&.

So either:

        \[lq]Now are the times that try mens' souls.\[rq]


        \*[Q]Now are the times that try mens' souls.\*[U]

> A question came up on reddit that might act as a tie-breaker for 
> you. (!)  It was: how to automatically increment a list with letters?
> I don't use the style much, but if you want
>       1.  foo
>               a) bar
>               b) baz
>       2.  fubar
> I don't know how that would be done.  

This is where one of the requests you seldom need comes in.  :-D

.nr step 1 1
.af step a
.IP \n[step].
Collect underpants.
.IP \n[step].
.IP \n[step]

Our groff(7) man page in Git HEAD has this explanation.

.af register c
         Assign  format  c to register, where c is “i”, “I”, “a”, “A”,
         or a sequence of decimal digits whose  quantity  denotes  the
         minimum  width  in digits to be used when the register is in‐
         terpolated.  “i” and “a” indicate Roman numerals and  base-26
         Latin alphabetics, respectively, in the lettercase specified.
         The default is “0”.


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