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[Groff] Announcing 1.18

From: Werner LEMBERG
Subject: [Groff] Announcing 1.18
Date: Sun, 21 Jul 2002 11:54:20 +0200 (CEST)

Finally, finally!  Here is groff version 1.18, currently only
available as

but soon from all GNU hosts.

Below is the relevant snippet from the NEWS file.




This file describes recent user-visible changes in groff.  Bug fixes are not
described.  There are more details in the man and info pages.


*                                                                         *
*                                                                         *


o Color support has been added to troff and pic (and to the device drivers
  grops, grodvi, grotty, and grohtml -- other preprocessors and drivers will
  follow).  A new function `defcolor' defines colors; the escape sequence
  `\m' sets the drawing color, the escape sequence `\M' specifies the
  background color for closed objects created with \D'...' commands. 
  `\m[]' and `\M[]' switch back to the previous color.  `\m' and `\M'
  correspond to the new troff output command sets starting with `m' and
  `DF'.  The device-specific default color is called `default' and can't be

  Use the `color' request to toggle the usage of colors (default is on); the
  read-only register `.color' is 0 if colors are not active, and non-zero

  The old `Df' output command is mapped onto `DFg'; all color output
  commands don't change the current font position (consequently, `Df'
  doesn't either).

  Outputting color can be disabled in troff and groff with the option -c
  (it is always disabled in compatibility mode).  See the section on grotty
  for the GROFF_NO_SGR environment variable also.

  For defining color components as fractions between 0 and 1, a new scaling
  indicator `f' has been introduced: 1f = 65536u.  For testing whether a
  color is defined (with .if and .ie), a new conditional operator `m' is

  More details can be found in the groff_diff.7 manual page and in

o Similar to \m and \M, \f[] switches back to the previous font.  \fP
  (and \f[P]) is still valid for backwards compatibility.

o The new escape \F is the same as `.fam'; \F[] switches back to previous
  family -- \F[P] selects family `P'.

o Two new glyph symbols are available: `eu' is the official Euro symbol;
  `Eu' is a font-specific glyph variant.

o The new glyph symbols `t+-', `tdi', and `tmu' are textual variants of
  `+-', `di', and `mu', respectively.

o Latin-1 character 181 (PS name `mu', Unicode name U+00B5 MICRO SIGN) has
  got the troff glyph name `mc'.

o -Tutf8 is now available on EBCDIC hosts.

o Strings can take arguments, using this syntax: \*[foo arg1 arg2 ...].

    .ds xxx This is a \\$1 test.
    \*[xxx nice]

o It is now possible to have whitespace between the first and second dot (or
  the name of the ending macro) to end a macro definition.  Example:

    .de !
    .de foo
    .  nop Hello, I'm `foo'.
    .  nop I will now define `bar'.
    .  de bar !
    .    nop Hello, I'm `bar'.
    .  !

o `.fn' is a new string-valued register which returns the (internal) real
  font name; styles and families are properly concatenated.

o Three new read/write registers `seconds', `minutes', and `hours' contain
  the current time, set at start-up of troff.  Use the `af' request to
  control their output format.

o The new request `fchar' can be used to provide fallback characters.  It
  has the same syntax as the `char' request; the only difference is that a
  character defined with `.char' hides the glyph with the same name in the
  current font, whereas a character defined with `.fchar' is checked only if
  the particular glyph isn't found in the current font.  This test happens
  before checking special fonts.

o In analogy to the `tmc' request, `.writec' is the same as `.write' but
  doesn't emit a final newline.

o The new request `itc' is a variant of `.it' for which a line interrupted
  with \c counts as one input line.

o Two new requests `ds1' and `as1' which are similar to `ds' and `as' but
  with compatibility mode disabled during expansion of strings defined by

o The syntax of the `substring' request has been changed: The first
  character in a string now has index 0, the last character has index -1.
  Note that this is an incompatible change.

o `.hpf' has been extended.  It can now handle most TeX hyphenation
  patterns file without modification.  To do that, the commands \patterns,
  \hyphenation, and \endinput are recognized.  Please refer to groff_diff.7
  for more information.

o `hpfcode' is a new request to provide an input encoding mapping for the
  `hpf' request.

o The new request `hpfa' appends hyphenation patterns (`hpf' replaces
  already existing patterns).

o A new request `ami' (append macro indirect) has been added.  The first and
  second parameter of `ami' are taken from string registers rather than
  directly; this very special request is needed to make `trace.tmac'
  independent from the escape character (which might even be disabled).

o The new request `sizes' is similar to the `sizes' command in DESC files.
  It expects the same syntax; the data must be on a single line, and the
  final `0' can be omitted.

o `trin' (translate input) is a new request which is similar to `tr' with
  the exception that the `asciify' request will use the character code (if
  any) before the character translation.  Example:

    .trin ax
    .di xxx
    .trin aa
    .asciify xxx

  The result is `x a'.  Using `tr', the result would be `x x'.

o The request `pvs' isn't new, but hasn't been documented before.  It
  adds vertical space after a line has been output.  This makes it an
  alternative to the `ls' request to produce double-spaced documents.
  The read-only register `.pvs' holds the current amount of the
  post-vertical line space.

o For compatibility with plan 9's troff, multiple `pi' requests are

    .pi foo
    .pi bar

  is now equivalent to

    .pi foo | bar

o A new escape sequence `\O' is available to disable and enable glyph
  output.  Please see groff_diff.7 and groff.texinfo for more details.

o The escapes `\%', `\&', `\)', and `\:' no longer cause an error in \X;
  they are ignored now.  Additionally `\ ' and `\~' are converted to
  single space characters.

o The default tab distance in nroff mode is now 0.8i to be compatible
  with UNIX troff.

o Using the latin-1 input character 0xAD (soft hyphen) for the `shc'
  request was a bad idea.  Instead, it is now translated to `\%', and
  the default hyphenation character is again \[hy].  Note that the glyph
  \[shc] is not useful for typographic purposes; it only exists to have
  glyph names for all latin-1 characters.

Macro Packages

o Peter Schaffter <address@hidden> has contributed a new major macro package
  called `mom', mainly for non-scientific writers, which takes care of
  many typographic issues.  It comes with a complete reference (in HTML
  format) and some examples.  `mom' has been designed to format documents
  for PostScript output only.

o Two macros `AT' (AT&T) and `UC' (Univ. of California) have been added to
  the man macros for compatibility with older BSD releases.

o Both the man and mdoc macro packages now use the LL and LT registers for
  setting the line and title length, respectively (similar to those
  registers in the ms macro package).  If not set on the command line or
  in a macro file loaded before the macro package itself, they default to
  78n in nroff mode and 6.5i in troff mode.

o The `-xwidth' specifier in the mdoc macro package has been removed.  Its
  functionality is now integrated directly into `-width'.  Similarly,
  `-column' has been extended to provide this functionality also.

o A new macro `Ex' has been added to the mdoc macro package to document an
  exit status.

o The PSPIC macro has been extended to work with DVI output (`pspic.tmac' is
  now automatically loaded for -Tdvi), using a dvips special to load the EPS

o The trace.tmac package now traces calls to `am' also.  Additionally, it
  works in compatibility mode.

o `troff.1' has been split.  Differences to UNIX troff are now documented
  in the new man page `groff_diff.7'.

o `groff_mwww.7' has been renamed to `groff_www.7'.  The file mwww.tmac
  has been removed.

o `groff_ms.7' has been completely rewritten.  It now contains a complete
  reference to the ms macros.

o `groff_trace.7' documents the trace macro package.

o Changes in www.tmac:

    Note that HTML support is still in alpha change, so it is rather likely
    that both macro names and macro syntax will change.  Some of the macros
    mentioned below aren't really new but haven't been documented properly

    The following macros have been renamed:

        MAILTO     -> MTO
        IMAGE      -> IMG
        LINE       -> HR

    For consistency, the macros `URL', `FTL', and `MTO' now all have the
    address as the first parameter followed by the description.

    By default, grohtml generates links to all section headings at the top
    of the document.  Use the new `LK' macro to specify a different place.

    For specifying the background color and a background image, use the
    new macros `BCL' and `BGIMG', respectively.

    The macro `NHR' has been added; it suppresses the generation of top and
    bottom rules which grohtml emits by default.

    The new macro `HX' determines the cut-off point for automatic link
    generation to headings.

    The image position parameter names in `IMG' have been changed to `-L',
    `-R', and `-C'.

    New macro `PIMG' for inclusion of a PNG image (it will automatically
    convert it into an EPS file if not -Thtml is used).

    New macro `MPIMG' for putting a PNG image into the left or right margin
    (it will automatically convert it into an EPS file if not
    -Thtml is used).

    New macros `HnS', `HnE' to start and end a header line block.

    New macro `DC' to produce dropcap characters.

    New macro `HTL' to generate an HTML title line only but no H1 heading.

    New macros `ULS' and `ULE' to start and end an unordered list.  The new
    macro `LI' inserts a list item.


o The new command line option `-c' disables color output (which is always
  disabled in compatibility mode).


o Two new command line options `-c' and `-C'; the former passes `-c' to
  grotty (switching to the old output scheme); the latter passes `-C' to
  groff (enabling compatibility mode).


o New keywords `color' (or `colour', `colored', `coloured'), `outline' (or
  `outlined'), and `shaded' are available.  `outline' sets the color of the
  outline, `shaded' the fill color, and `color' sets both.  Example:

    circle shaded "green" outline "black" ;

  Filled arrows always use the outline color for filling.

  Color support for TeX output is not implemented yet.


o A new script contributed by Eric S. Raymond <address@hidden>.  It
  converts a PIC diagram into a cropped image.  Since it uses gs and the PNM
  library, virtually all graphics formats are available for output.


o A new script contributed by Eric S. Raymond <address@hidden>.  It
  converts an EQN diagram into a cropped image.  Since it uses gs and the PNM
  library, virtually all graphics formats are available for output.


o A new script contributed by Bernd Warken <address@hidden>.  It displays
  groff files and man pages on X and tty, taking care of most parameters


o Documents using the mom macro package are recognized.


o Color support has been added.

o A new option `-p' is available to select the output paper size.  It has
  the same syntax as the new `papersize' keyword in the DESC file.


o By default, font sizes are now available in the range 5-10000pt, similar
  to PS fonts. If you want the old behaviour (i.e., font sizes at discrete
  values only), insert the following at the start of your document:

    .if '\*[.T]'dvi' \
    .  sizes 500 600 700 800 900 1000 1095 1200 1400 1440 1600 \
             1728 1800 2000 2074 2200 2400 2488 2800 3600

o A new font file HBI (using cmssbxo10; this is slanted sans serif bold
  extended) has been added.

o Two font families are now available: `T' and `H'.

o EC and TC fonts have been integrated.  Use `-mec' (calling the file
  ec.tmac) to switch to them.  Those fonts give a much better coverage of
  the symbols defined by groff than the CM fonts.

  Note that ec.tmac must be called before any language-specific files; it
  doesn't take care of hcode values.

o Color support has been added.  For drawing commands, colors are translated
  to gray values currently.


o Color support has been added, using the SGR (ISO 6429, sometimes called
  ANSI color) escape sequences.

o SGR escape sequences are now used by default for underlining and bold
  printing also, no longer using the backspace character trick.  To revert
  to the old behaviour, use the `-c' switch.

  Note that you have to use the `-R' option of `less' to make SGR escapes
  display correctly.  On the other hand, terminal programs and consoles like
  `xterm' which support SGR sequences natively can directly display the
  output of grotty.  Consequently, the options `-b', `-B', `-u', and `-U'
  work only in combination with `-c' and are ignored silently otherwise.

  For the `man' program, it may be necessary to add the `-R' option of
  `less' to the $PAGER environment variable; alternatively, you can use
  `man's `-P' option (or adapt its configuration file accordingly).  See
  man(1) for more details.

o If the environment variable GROFF_NO_SGR is set, SGR output is disabled,
  reverting to the old behaviour.

o A new special \X'tty: sgr n' has been added; if n is non-zero or missing,
  enable SGR output (the default).

o If the new option `-i' is used (only in SGR mode), grotty sends escape
  sequences to set the italic font attribute instead of the underline
  attribute for italic fonts.  Note that many terminals don't have support
  for this (including xterm).


o Color support for glyphs has been added.

o New option `-h' to select the style of headings in HTML output.

o New option `-b' to set the background colour to white.

o New options `-a' and `-g' to control the number of bits for anti-aliasing
  used for text and graphics, respectively.  Default value is 4; 0 means
  no anti-aliasing.

o groff character/glyph entities now map onto HTML 4 character entities.


o Valid paper sizes are now specified as with the new `papersize' keyword
  in the DESC file.  Specifically, the old custom paper type format
  `custAAAxBBB' is no longer supported.


o A new manual page `ditroff.7' is available.

o The groff texinfo manual will now be installed, together with a bunch
  of examples.

o A new keyword `papersize' has been added to the DESC file format.  Its
  argument is either

  . a predefined paper format (e.g. `A4' or `letter')

  . a file name pointing to a file which must contain a paper size
    specification in its first line (e.g. `/etc/papersize')

  . a custom paper size definition like `35c,4i'

  See groff_font(5) for more details.  This keyword only affects the
  physical dimensions of the output medium; grops, grolj4, and grolbp use it
  currently.  troff completely ignores it.

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