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Some minor groff -mm -Thtml problems

From: lukekendall
Subject: Some minor groff -mm -Thtml problems
Date: Sat, 11 Jan 2003 21:18:05 +1100 (EST)

Most of these errors have been produced in version 1.17-2.  1.18-4
seemed to produce these errors, and mangled all quote characters, so I'm
afraid I've reverted to 1.17.  So this report is most certain for that

All relate to groff -mm -Thtml, using the MM macros (mgm) from groff.

The man pages don't specify how to generate output from groff suitable
for feeding as input to grohtml directly.  As a result, investigation
of problems in the intermediate format are impossible.

Doesn't have a symbol for trademark \(tm. (Probably no such symbol in
HTML itself?)

No way to turn off pagination - so you end up with random breaks in the
middle of text, depending on how your browser window is sized.

Bad interaction with the mm macro paragraph control registers - see
what happens when you try to get indented paragraphs by setting:
'\" Indent paragraphs except after headings, lists, and displays. (0 = none)
..nr Pt 2
'\" Amount of space between paragraphs - default 1
..nr Ps 1
'\" Amount of indent for paragraphs:
..nr Pi 2

-- what happens is that you tend to get whole paragraphs right shifted
(not just the first line indented), then the next page's paragraphs not
indented, and so on.  It would be much better to just ignore them than
to generate tables that don't actually work.

The sequence \(:i doesn't turn into an i with umlaut, which is hardly
surprising.  But it doesn't even turn into an "i" - it is just silently
lost, which is pretty bad.

In groff -Tps, this will produce the text "Chapter 1":
..nr H1 0
..HU "Chapter \\\\n(H1"
When processed into html with -Thtml, it produces "Chapter 0".

Specifying the Helvetica font (\fH) produces the error message:
warning: can't find font `HR'
which is slightly misleading.  I thought html did support a sans-serif
font, too...

I found that 1.18-4 turned simple ascii ` and ' open and close quotes
into strings that browsers (konqueror, netscape) can't interpret. 
&lsquot; was one, I think.  1.17-2 doesn't do this, so I reverted to it.

Not specifically about -Thtml:

Incidentally, it might be good for the makefiles for 1.18 in the doc
directory, so check if texinfo/makeinfo is of version 4.3 explicitly,
and report that.  When the source is bundled up into an rpm, the build
fails in a way that's hard to diagnose, if your version of makeinfo is
to old to process the files, and it kills the build.

If you run groff without specifying any macro package at all (yes,
pretty dumb), you don't get any warnings about unrecognised directives
at all!  They're all just silently ignored.  


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