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Re: [Groff] Re: PSPIC error - "missing argument"

From: Bernd Warken
Subject: Re: [Groff] Re: PSPIC error - "missing argument"
Date: Sun, 16 Jun 2002 09:16:28 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.2.5i

On Sat, Jun 15, 2002 at 11:23:28PM -0400, Larry Kollar wrote:
> Bernd Warken <address@hidden> wrote:
> > The greatest difficulty is the conservatism of the groff elders.
> > Security in driving cars is a bit more complicated than with bicycles
> > from the stone age.
> I was following you until that last paragraph, then I got lost.
> The "conservatism" part I partially understand (I think): there
> are a lot of old documents out there that occasionally get brought
> back into the light & reprinted (and possibly revised along the
> way). That's a good thing; it sets text-based formatters apart
> from commercial Word processors that won't read their own documents
> from 2 or 3 revisions previous. I've not heard anyone advocate
> limiting groff to an exact replica of ditroff -- long names, the
> while construct, and numerous other extensions made that a lost
> cause long ago anyway.

My changes won't touch any features of groff.  I'm talking about coding
errors.  A user will not notice any difference apart from bugs being
fixed and a better defense against buffer overflow attacks.
> I'm also confused about the "stone age bicycle" comment. You said
> (in essence) that security issues are less complicated for stone
> age bicycles, but groff needs a lot of non-trivial work in this
> department. 

groff is a modern system, but many parts of the code come from the
computing stone age - just like some decisions on code improvements.
Maybe we should not extend this discussion here.

> I fully agree that groff isn't the bicycle -- indeed,
> a couple of issues came up on the FrameMaker users' list this week
> (automatic "continued" insertions and chapter-level table of
> contents) that *roff has always been able to handle with the usual
> tools. A Frame solution (at least for the "continued" insertions)
> probably involves an external script -- not a bad thing in itself,
> but it's a break in the workflow.

I did not mean this, but it is a good idea.  Such additions are always

Bernd Warken

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