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Re: 2 wishes for @Tbl and @Diag

From: Jeff Kingston
Subject: Re: 2 wishes for @Tbl and @Diag
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2003 08:35:23 +1100

> @Tbl has no rulestyle option to set the line style, e.g. to dotted

This sounds pretty reasonable; I'll add it to my list of things
to do.  The actual styles are generated within PostScript so it
takes a bit of magic.

> @Diag has no 'expand' option

The basic thing you are asking for is for an inner thing to
expand to fill the space available to it at the next level
out, without expanding that thing (if I understand your
correctly).  This is quite a delicate thing to get right.
If you hunt through the definitions in @Diag you will find
that @Box (for example) is a macro that uses @Node (whose
def is at line 2243) whose value, apart from cases where it
is labelled and/or translated, is given by symbol @Value
defined at line 2528.  Interestingly, @Value begins with

    @HContract @VContract

ensuring that the value does not attempt to grab all
available space.  Deleting this @HContract/@VContract
would be the place to start.  If it does the right
things, then named parameters could be added to the
various symbols (@Node mainly) to allow the user to
choose between having it/them or not.

A dirtier method would be to decide how wide you
want the outer box to be, enclose it in a @Wide
symbol, then put @HExpand inside the inner box
as before.  The @HExpand will widen everything it
can but not the @Wide symbol, so the widening
stops where you want it to, at the cost of having
to say how wide you want things to be there.
I call this dirty but it does have the advantage
of giving a specific place where you want the
widening to start (at the @HExpand) and a specific
place where you want it to end (at the @Wide),
which is much clearer than the "next level up",
a concept which is affected by the fact that the
node value can be enclosed in tagging and
translation symbols behind the scenes.

Jeff Kingston

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