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RE: [Groff] (no subject)

From: Ted Harding
Subject: RE: [Groff] (no subject)
Date: Fri, 01 Sep 2000 12:30:48 +0100 (BST)

On 01-Sep-00 address@hidden wrote:
> She is encountering some compatibility problems with groff (or at
> least with the version available under Debian 2.2) which I have so far
> been unable to help her with. The principal difficulty has to do with
> the typesetting of certain accents (umlaut and macron
> specifically). There seem to be other problems involving tbl but they
> seem also to be less serious. I reproduce below a portion of a
> dccument which illustrates these difficulties and the error messages
> which are generated.
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> The warnings and error-messages:
> % groff -C -t -e test -Tdvi > test.dvi
>  tbl:test:18: column separation specified for last column
>  tbl:test:28: column separation specified for last column

This point was already answered by Ralph Corderoy.

>  /usr/share/groff/tmac/tmac.safer:3: error: end of file while defining
> macro `un'
>  /usr/share/groff/tmac/tmac.safer:3: error: end of file while defining
> macro `un'

For this, I think one has to look into "tmac.safer" and check for a bug.

>  test:10: warning: can't find special character `um'
>  test:18: warning: can't find special character `ma'

In groff devps the primary names for the umlaut (dieresis accent and the
macron accent are \(ad and \(a- respectively. Your user could keep her
preferred names by defining

.char \(um \(ad
.char \(ma \(a-

and then what she's used to would once again work. However, the over-
printing construction e.g. \o'a\(um' is not the best way to do it,
since this mechanism ignores the heights of the "a" and the "\(um",
as well as any other more refined metric issues (such as what happens
in italic printing). A much better job can be done with mechanisms
that can be found in groff -- in particular the "acc*over-def"
in tmac.s -- which do look after such issues. [None of this code needs
anything else in tmac.s -- it can be lifted straight out.]

I'd like to suggest that your user should contact the list directly:
from the look of her troff source, she would benefit considerably
from migrating properly to groff (i.e. using features that properly
look after the sort of thing she's trying to do); and we'd be very
happy to help.


E-Mail: (Ted Harding) <address@hidden>
Fax-to-email: +44 (0)870 284 7749
Date: 01-Sep-00                                       Time: 12:30:48
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