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Re: [Groff] strange defining of undefined names

From: Bernd Warken
Subject: Re: [Groff] strange defining of undefined names
Date: Fri, 5 Jul 2002 23:56:06 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.2.5i

On Thu, Jul 04, 2002 at 03:41:45PM +0200, Werner LEMBERG wrote:
> \c only suppresses output of the rest of the line, nevertheless it is
> parsed.  `s' isn't found, thus groff emits a warning and defines `s'
> to be empty.
Yes, the trouble occurs from the feature "if a string is referred to, it
is automatically made into being defined."  This does not make sense, it
is counter-productive, and I'm not sure whether this was really intended. 
An undefined string is interpolated into the empty string - that means
the the string reference is replaced by the empty string, not that the 
string is set to the empty string.  I think this is an error, even if this 
misfeature existed in ancient roffs.  

Otherwise, `if d' would not make sense because then `if !d s' should
also define `s', which is quite perverse.  Furthermore, `.ig' and other
comment-like constructions will get dangerous, unwanted side-effects.

My bet is, keep this for compatibility mode if you think it's 
necessary, and otherwise deliver us from that evil.
> This is already documented in groff.texinfo.


Bernd Warken

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