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Re: poetry

From: Giovanni Zezza
Subject: Re: poetry
Date: Tue, 01 Aug 2000 09:29:39 +0200

Il Tue, 01 Aug 2000 08:25:02 +1000, Jeff Kingston scriveva:

>I'm not sure how to get the effect you ask for, especially without
>having symbols scattered through the poetry as hooks for Lout's
>machinery to work on.  I think you've offered a classic example of
>why having a built-in paragraph breaker is not a good design choice.

For my purpose (and, I dare to guess, for a large set of needs) I think it
would be enough to have a "hook" function, lets say "@EveryLine", to be
executed before to output every chunk of text.

Or a "limited" galley, where to put no more than N lines of text, followed
by a "conditional" galley, where to put the rest (and possibly an outer
galley to receive all these galleys). If this has some sense (which I
suspect isn't the case).

>My suggestion is to define a one-character symbol that does the
>job for you, something like this:
>    macro "%" { //1vx &2i "[" &0i }

Well, not so bad (and not so good, too).

>Not as clever as using horizontal galleys but probably more
>practical.  One might even argue that breaking lines of
>poetry requires semantic analysis, thus making a virtue
>of necessity.

This is generally true, but sometimes you have no time for so much virtue;
you just want (and have) to get something enough good before five. Maybe
not exactly with poetry (where it is in fact unacceptable, especially in
official publications) but with less critical stuff, like songs or so, in
less formal booklets.
It happens rather frequently to me to be in such situations, and then some
automatic stuff to get a first approximations (to be perhaps later tuned by
hand to correct just the worst cases) would be of great value.

As a consolation (if this may be a consolation) this job seems to be not so
simple (or even possible) in TeX, too.


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