[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: The -mb macro package for books

From: Lucas de Sena
Subject: Re: The -mb macro package for books
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 2021 14:18:27 -0300

On 2021-11-19, Oliver Corff wrote:
> Hi Seninha,
> Congratulations, you wrote a very compact macro package with a good set
> of functionalities and capabilities. Please share with us whether this
> is a one-of-a-kind effort or whether you intend to develop this package
> further.
I'm developing the macros as my needs evolve.  I developed them first
because -ms lacks list and chapter macros.  But I intend to develop it

> It is very good to see that you have a table of contents at the
> beginning of a book (in contrast, classical packages like ms can only
> generate TOCs which are positioned at the end of the document without
> additional intervention).
The TOC is created by two troff passes, as you can see on the Makefile
at the Github repository.  The first pass reads the source files and
outputs to the stderr an index.roff file describing the TOC.  The second
pass includes that index.roff file and the source files to generate the
document with the TOC.

> Do you intend to provide mechanisms for the integration of tables (tbl)
> and references (refer)? If I understand correctly, the tbl output can be
> processed as-is but perhaps there may be compatibility issues --- this
> is just a humble question. With refer, the situation is a bit different,
> the macro package provides a substantial amount of processing for the
> presentation of references, be it as single reference, or list of
> references, usually at the end of an opus.

I do not process tbl output.  The .TS macro "survives" the tbl
preprocessor into troff.  The same occurs with pic output; the
.PS macro survives, but pic adds to the command two arguments,
the width and height of the picture. I process it by centering
the picture on the paper:

        .       \" picture start
        .de PS
        .in ((\\n(.lu-\\n(.iu)/2u)-(\\$2/2u)
        .       \" picture end
        .de PE

As for refer, my macros do not process refer output yet, but I will
do it in a later version.

> My question to you, playing the advocatus diaboli: How do you position
> your macro package against, e.g., ms (which can produce neatly looking
> large documents), me (which as a different look), and mom (which has a
> very strong focus on user-controllable appearance, plus a completeness
> of capabilities for beautiful documents, rather than limiting itself to
> the clean and sober appearance of technical literature, a field the
> original troff family of typesetting tools was conceived in?

I think my macro package can compare to -ms.  I even used it as a base
for some of my macros (such as footnotes).  My macro package can be seen
as a "extension" for -ms, and it includes stuff like chapter macros, TOC
generation and bulleted/numbered lists, which -ms does not have.  I have
never used -me or -mom, but I know the fame of the latter on how
beautiful its output is.  I don't think my package can compare to -mom.

But in all, my package fits my needs.  And it is even able to create a
well-formated simple book!

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]