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Re: [groff] 22/40: [devpdf]: Do more explicit work and less magic.

From: G. Branden Robinson
Subject: Re: [groff] 22/40: [devpdf]: Do more explicit work and less magic.
Date: Wed, 16 Nov 2022 18:43:15 -0600

Hi Deri,

At 2022-11-17T00:12:40+0000, Deri wrote:
> On Wednesday, 16 November 2022 23:04:52 GMT G. Branden Robinson wrote:
> > I don't see why "rm -rf /usr/share/groff/1.23.0/font/devps" should
> > cause "groff -Tpdf" to fail or behave differently in any way.  Do
> > you?
> I love your little jokes. :-)

_Somebody_ needs to!

However in this case I wasn't joking.  Although admittedly I am
sometimes whimsical in my seriousness.  It goes with the instinctive

> If you do the rm you suggest, groff won't fail, well it will if you
> run groff without a -T option.

..._if_ groff hasn't been configured to select something else as the
default output device.


$ make -j DEVICE=pdf

> The sole difference is you will not be able to use freeeuro with pdf
> but there are plenty of better glyph alternatives.

It's obviously my day to dredge things out of earlier private mails I
sent.  :D

Back in March I mused about how it would be nice if we could fill in the
groff_char(7) gaps in glyph coverage for PostScript and PDF.

If we did that, and grouped them together in a "groff symbols" font,
then we could with as much justice include the Euro signs from FreeEuro
and supersede that font with this new one.

> You will have a much more serious problem, man -t will not work at
> all.

Sadly I don't think a lot of people use man -t.

But as I understand it, man(1)'s '-t' option means to format the out for
"troff"--that is, a typesetter, and send the result to the standard
output.  There is no presumption about the nature of the typesetter

> In my mind grops is the senior service, gropdf the illegitimate child,
> because grops is a dependency of the man program.

I feel this is exaggerated; it both understands the capabilities and
importance of gropdf, and is overly specific about what, exactly, man(1)

> This is why nearly everyone packages grops as part of core groff
> package (required if you install man) and gropdf is consigned to the
> full fat groff package.

That may be due to the Perl dependency more than any other factor.

> So in reality you will find grops without gropdf, but never t’other
> way round.

Whatever its merits, PostScript has been on its way out for 25 years.  I
don't mean to hasten its demise but I don't want to be yoked to it when
that demise occurs.

> And if you are using rm -rf as the root user you deserve to find out
> that things can be a bit different, you naughty boy.

I was using that to concisely express the whims of a sysadmin who built
groff from source, and to reflect the arrangement of a putative
packaging arrangement that provided groff's PDF support in the absence
of its PostScript support.


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