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RE: [Groff] The quest for a high-end typesetting system: A fewquestions

From: Mats Broberg
Subject: RE: [Groff] The quest for a high-end typesetting system: A fewquestions
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 17:53:29 +0100

Peter Schaffter wrote:

> Please bear in mind that your concerns are most likely less 
> "what groff can do" than "what a particular macro set does 
> natively." Anything a macro set doesn't do you can usually 
> make groff do, either at the "primitive" level, or, more 
> commonly, by writing your own macros to fill up the deficit.

Peter et al,

Well, seeing that I can't write macro sets myself, I need to rely on the
functionality of other people's macros. However, yesterday I read the
complete HTML documentation of your mom macro and am very impressed.
Well thought out and excellent documentation.

> Yes, [hanging punctuation] is possible with groff, although it
requires user 
> intervention.  I don't know of any macro set that 
> automatically hangs punctuation when it occurs at the end of 
> a line.  If you require that functionality though, I believe 
> it's possible to set it up.

Yes, automatically hanging of punctuation and certain other characters
in left and right margin would be very nice indeed. In pdfTeX one can
set the degree of protrusion character per character.

> I'm not sure what you mean by "multiple" series [of footnotes]

E.g. like this:

The footnote reference "65" on the second line goes to its own footnote
apparatus at the bottom of the page, while references in the text are
referenced by line numbers and go to their own apparatus.

> SHIM simply inserts the amount of space required to make 
> certain that your next line of text falls on a "legal" 
> baseline, i.e. on a baseline grid.

OK, but does that mean that it is only the space _after_ e.g. a block
quote (that has smaller linespacing than the main text) in the middle of
the page that is increased? There is no way to distribute the space
evenly both above and below the block quote?
> The mom DROPCAP macro allows almost all the tweaks you want, 
> except sloping indents and protruding serifs.

I suppose protruding serifs in a drop cap share the same type of
complexity as protruding characters in any kind of margin have?

> I don't believe groff can do this [PMS solid spot colors], but someone
else may know 
> better, or have a workaround.

One can always output the spot color as e.g. 100 % cyan and tell the
printer that cyan should be printed with e.g. PMS 193.

> In the mom macros, if a footnote reference occurs in the last 
> line on a page, the footnote itself is moved to the next 
> page, with the "marker" (star, dagger, number, whatever) 
> picked up from the previous page.

OK, what I was hoping was that the "penalty" to leave a footnote
reference on one page and move the footnote to the next was greater than
hanging some pages.

A few question after having read your documentation:

1: Language, how is that handled? Different languages need different
hyphenation files.

2: Is it possible to switch off e.g. page headers, page footers and
pagination on certain types of pages - most often pages where new
chapters start, ends etc?

3: From your mom docs: "In order to ensure even bottom margins, mom uses
the "base" document leading in effect at the start of running text on
each page (i.e. the leading used in paragraphs) to calculate the spacing
of every document element" How? Does this mean mom stretches space
between lines and/or paras?

4: From your mom docs, again: "Note that mom does not provide "orphan
control" for paragraphs" If not, how do you control orphans and widows?
By using one of the constructs that have been mentioned on the list?
.ne, .wdc etc?

Very nice indeed to read about your mom macro set.

Best regards,
Mats Broberg

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