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Re: [Groff] Re: Bug in mm macro package

From: Pedro A. López-Valencia
Subject: Re: [Groff] Re: Bug in mm macro package
Date: Sun, 19 Feb 2006 07:34:14 -0500

On 2/18/06, Werner LEMBERG <address@hidden> wrote:

> This is not correct.  The example DESC file for a PostScript printer
> given in the Troff User's Manual (CSTR 54), section 23, is as follows.
>   position 1 = R
>   position 2 = I
>   position 3 = B
>   position 4 = BI
>   ...
>   position 10 = S
> So we already have a good reason to use font names instead of font
> positions: Using `S' instead of `BI' on position 4 gives, well, funny
> results.
> I propose to install a modified .fp in the mm macros which calls .ftr
> (to translate the font name) if the user specifies a font position in
> the range 1-4.
>   .als fp-old fp


> Comments?

I agree with you; we need the flexibility to be able to puch groff
into the document processing backend (where it is not presently) on
the one hand, and we should not hold on to the past so tightly that we
stultify the posibility of evolution on the other.

The use of numbers for font positions in troff is a historical
artifact due to the fact that it was cause it was written to drive the
Wang C/A/T phototypesetter exclusively, which only had four hardwired
font positions, 0->R, 1->I, 2->B, 4->S for four different typeface
*tapes*. That is no longer the case, the C/A/Ts still in existence, if
there is any, are used as doorstops and Wang is long gone and buried.
Later ditroff versions inherited the limitations, but only because it
would have meant a full rewrite.

Pedro A. López-Valencia

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