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Re: Two questions

From: Jeff Kingston
Subject: Re: Two questions
Date: Wed, 19 Oct 1994 09:07:03 +1000

Luis Melendez asked two questions, here are my answers.
(1) In a @TaggedList, you have no access to @HExpand?
    In order to fail gracefully when tags are too wide, the space
    available to a tag horizontally is made infinite, so that it
    overstrikes the body of the list item if it is too wide.  Hence
    @HExpand is not going to be successful, because space is unlimited.

    I notice though that Luis is using a @DropTagItem, which suggests
    that he wants his tag to stretch right across the line above the
    body of the item.  So Lout ought to limit the space to the line
    width in that case, since there is no danger of an overstrike.
    However because drop items can be mixed with ordinary ones, Lout
    currently sets aside infinite space in both cases.
    One quick and dirty suggestion is to use a @Wide symbol:
        @DropTagItem { 6i @Wide @Box @HExpand tag } ...
    but I don't really recommend it.  If these kinds of tags are
    needed repeatedly, a better solution is to define a new kind of       
    list for them.

(2) Paragraphs with a large initial letter in the corner.
    This is not possible for the fundamental reason that paragraph
    breaking is a built-in feature of Lout, and exactly eight styles
    are possible.  Paragraphs with a chunk out of the corner are not
    one of the eight styles, so that's that.  TeX provides a more
    flexible style in which you can specify individual line lengths
    for a finite number of initial lines, then it carries on with a
    fixed width after that.  That's how tricks like filling circles
    are done in TeX.
    As discussed in my paper on the design and implementation of Lout,
    the unimplemented "horizontal galleys" feature would solve this
    problem and several others, by making paragraph breaking styles
    able to be specified by the user using the full resources of the
    Lout language, as page layouts etc. are now.  However to combine
    horizontal galleys with the "optimal" paragraph breaking that Lout
    does now seems to be quite hard, so no prospect of that soon.

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