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[bug #57665] tbl: want better TTY support for extremely long tables

From: G. Branden Robinson
Subject: [bug #57665] tbl: want better TTY support for extremely long tables
Date: Sat, 25 Jan 2020 08:35:10 -0500 (EST)
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:60.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/60.0 PureBrowser/60.9.0


                 Summary: tbl: want better TTY support for extremely long
                 Project: GNU troff
            Submitted by: gbranden
            Submitted on: Sat 25 Jan 2020 01:35:07 PM UTC
                Category: Preprocessor tbl
                Severity: 1 - Wish
              Item Group: New feature
                  Status: None
                 Privacy: Public
             Assigned to: None
             Open/Closed: Open
         Discussion Lock: Any
         Planned Release: None



When I view pages like groff_char(7) on a terminal, continuous rendering is
enabled.  This is nice because the man(7) macros don't make assumptions about
the page length that way, and you get smoothly flowing text that is
interrupted by page headers and footers.

Unfortunately, tbl is a preprocessor and doesn't know that the page length is
effectively infinite.  This causes it to insert breaks in long tables. 
Without the page headers and footers these look like single blank lines, the
same you get from blank input line in table, or .sp, or .sp 1, as recently
discussed on the address@hidden list.

The net result is ugliness and potential confusion.

How can we get tbl to pretend the page length is unbounded, or stop
introducing blank vertical space at the page boundaries?


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