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Re: mm(7) DT string and super/subscripts (was: troff Memorandum Macros d

From: Robert Goulding
Subject: Re: mm(7) DT string and super/subscripts (was: troff Memorandum Macros documentation derived from the paper "MM - Memorandum Macros")
Date: Mon, 9 Aug 2021 12:09:36 -0400

While we're on the subject of footnote markers/superscripts, including the
-me macros: I have always disliked the way that that macro set added line
spacing to accommodate the footnote marker. Maybe that was necessary in
older output devices; but it looks very ugly in modern laser
printed output. I've redefined the footnote marker for -me thus:

.ds { \v'-.9m\s'\En[.s]*7u/10u'+.7m'
.ds } \v'-.7m\s0+.9m'
.ds * \*{1\*}\k*


On Mon, Aug 9, 2021 at 11:04 AM G. Branden Robinson <> wrote:

> At 2021-08-09T09:11:50-0500, Nate Bargmann wrote:
> > So far I've not read much of the book[1] closely.  I have skimmed
> > through Chapter 4 and on page 4-117 (page 247 of the PDF) is a table
> > of the available MM strings.  Given that I've seen example dates from
> > 1987/88, this list may be quite close to the final AT&T MM (it really
> > doesn't appear that Apple changed much, if anything in this regard,
> > but I'm mostly guessing).
> I expect they didn't.  I like how Apple didn't include the man(7) macros
> in the book.  Who needs a man page?  If the single button on your mouse
> can't get the job done, it's not worth doing.  ;-)
> > The same document[1] has a slightly different formula on page 3-36 (102)
> > for a superscript:
> >
> >       \v'-.5'\s-4\&2\sO\v' .5'
> Boy did that ever OCR badly.  I think they mean this.
>         \v'-.5'\s-4\&2\s0\v'.5'
> The use of \&, unnecessary here as far as I know, suggests to me that
> someone got burned by the magic syntax of the \s escape sequence.  (I
> can't find a good inline copy of CSTR #97 so I'm attaching one; see PDF
> page 4 of 15, second paragraph under section 2.)
> It's interesting to me that the following two are not equivalent.
>         foo\v'-.5'\s-4bar\s0\v'.5'
>         foo\u\s-4bar\s0\d
> Our use of the term "half-line motion" might require some clarification.
> > Regarding the MS formula, for the font family I chose, I did modify it
> > to not raise as high by changing the .9m to .8m which I think lined up
> > slightly better.
> Yes; for things like this I think we need a reasonable solution for
> general audiences, trusting people to redefine things to meet their
> needs.  Once we leave the fenced garden of man(7) and mdoc, the hood on
> the *roff vehicle becomes transparent, and the document author can muck
> around inside.  They just need to be aware that they're lifting that
> hood and sticking a tool inside.
> Regards,
> Branden

Robert Goulding
Director, John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values;
Director, Program in History and Philosophy of Science;
Assoc. Professor, Program of Liberal Studies,
Fellow, Medieval Institute,
University of Notre Dame.

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