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[bug #58796] preconv: want option to write traditional [g|t]roff special

From: G. Branden Robinson
Subject: [bug #58796] preconv: want option to write traditional [g|t]roff special characters where possible
Date: Tue, 21 Jul 2020 07:27:58 -0400 (EDT)
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:68.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/68.0


                 Summary: preconv: want option to write traditional [g|t]roff
special characters where possible
                 Project: GNU troff
            Submitted by: gbranden
            Submitted on: Tue 21 Jul 2020 11:27:56 AM UTC
                Category: Preprocessor preconv
                Severity: 1 - Wish
              Item Group: New feature
                  Status: Need Info
                 Privacy: Public
             Assigned to: gbranden
             Open/Closed: Open
         Discussion Lock: Any
         Planned Release: None



preconv is a good thing but its conversion of absolutely everything that isn't
US-ASCII to inscrutable hexadecimal Unicode points means that it's not good
for "offline" source document conversion in a way that would be pleasant to

I'd like:

1. A flag, possibly -s, to convert non-ASCII code points to special character
escapes, e.g., \['e], where such entities exist.  The Unicode-to-glyph list in
src/libs/libgroff/uniglyph.cpp` might be helpful here.

2. A flag, possibly -t, to do the same except convert only those code points
documented in CSTR #54 to special character escapes, and use the old-fashioned
escape form, e.g., \('e.

In the slightly longer term I'd like a Single Source of Truth for the special
character escapes, one that can be macro-processed (not by groff!) into
`uniglyph.cpp` and `glyphuni.cpp` as well as groff_char(7) and grops(1) (which
is where I think the PostScript column of the tables in groff_char(7) today
should move to).



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